As at 1 May 2019, the ATO has now collected over $250 million in GST for the first nine months of the low-value goods measure, which began on 1 July 2018, outstripping forecasts by $180 million.
The new laws, applicable to sales of low-value, imported goods valued at $1,000 or less sold to consumers in Australia, ensure that such imported goods receive the same treatment as goods purchased domestically.
The legislation requires overseas businesses to charge Australian GST on their sales of low-value goods to consumers in Australia.
Over 1,000 overseas businesses have registered for GST which includes all the known major suppliers and international platforms. This includes platforms that are collecting GST when these goods are sold through them, reducing the number of individual businesses that need to register.
As businesses do not need to register unless they meet the $A75,000 GST turnover requirements, most small independent operators do not need to register and have not been affected by this measure.
The ATO’s update comes after its first-quarter collections raked in $81 million, easily surpassing its conservative $70 million estimate.
“The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Customs Organization and others have studied reform options for low-value goods. The Australian approach is increasingly recognised internationally as the model to follow,” the ATO said.
“GST collections on low-value, imported goods have exceeded initial expectations, thanks to strong partnerships with the international business community and high levels of compliance.
“These figures reflect a very strong overall level of compliance, and the ATO is confident that the system is working well.”