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eBay threatens to block Australians from using offshore sellers

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Joshua Herbert
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Tat bazaar eBay has threatened to stop Australian buyers doing business with offshore sellers if the nation goes ahead with a plan to charge local sales taxes on imported goods.

But the tax is not applied to imports valued at under AU$1,000, leading local retailers to complain they can be undercut by offshore online sellers.

An 2011 inquiry found that charging GST on imported items valued at less than $1,000 would cost more money than it would raise, but that hasn't stopped Australia's current government from plowing ahead with a plan to collect GST on imports anyway and to start doing so as of July 1st 2017.

An inquiry into the plan will be held later this week and submissions on the proposal have been published ahead of hearings.

eBay's submission (PDF) is a doozy because it says “Regrettably, the Government’s legislation may force eBay to prevent Australians from buying from foreign sellers.” The tat bazaar argues that it is unfair that it do all the heavy lifting so that third-party sellers using its platform collect GST.

Rather than do that work, eBay thinks it best to just cut Australians off from the world.

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Joshua Herbert
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