eBay Threatens To Lock Out Oz Over Amazon Tax
In a submission to the Senate inquiry on the “Amazon Tax”, international online shopping eBay has indicated the platform may have to stop Australian buyers from purchasing from overseas sellers if the proposed tax becomes reality.
“Regrettably, the government’s legislation may force eBay to prevent Australians from buying from foreign sellers. No tax would be paid to Australia and none would be owed. It would raise no revenue, deny Australians access to choice and lessen price competition,” eBay Australia and New Zealand vice-president Jooman Park wrote in the submission.
“This solution would not even represent a win for bricks and mortar retailers, because Australians would still find ways to buy online. They would do so direct via dot.coms without paying GST and they would lose the confidence they current enjoy buying from eBay with the advantage of its trusted seller ratings. This appears to be the most likely outcome at present,” he said.
If passed through Parliament, the Amazon Tax will slam all goods and services imported into Australia through online shopping with a 10% GST tax from July 1st.
eBay says that most online marketplaces will require several years to develop a compliance system with the new laws and, in the meantime, it’s more likely that they’ll choose to simply geoblock Australian customers altogether.
Sources told the AFR said eBay’s Chinese counterpart Alibaba was already considering this possibility.
Filing a joint submission with eBay and Etsy, Alibaba argued that websites like itself – that provide listing service – should be excluded from the Amazon tax as they do not set the price of goods, handle the goods or have knowledge of the flow of the physical goods.