GST on everything


So… The Netflix tax is in full effect meaning that eBay is collecting GST on everything purchased overseas now because its too hard to differentiate. See now… I don’t mind paying GST on things that should otherwise be taxed but weren’t being taxed. I was guilty of using the previous loophole of buying things overseas for less than $1000. But now they’re charging GST on everything £§¥ things that should not attract yen and in foreign currencies that may not otherwise add up to 10% of the cost. In the mean time people like Gerry Harvey have destroyed the internet market as we knew it and there is no guarantee these overseas companies are collecting tax properly.

How is everyone else doing?


Just to clarify… “Netflix tax” refers to intangible services (ie a video streaming service, like - Netflix). Sales via eBay would be for tangible products - this is where Gerry Harvey comes in with his relentless pursuit to stop Aussies buying goods from overseas, when they should in fact be buying from his stores so he can keep getting richer whilst refusing to offer any kind of after sales service.

I haven’t personally been affected as yet, though I know a lot of Doctor Who fans are upset as they can no longer use Amazon UK to import WHO DVDs/BluRays etc.

I don’t know if GST revenue was showing a decline due to the blackhole of overseas purchases… but at the end of the day the goal of the GST was to replace a number of different taxes on a wide range of goods with a simple flat rate tax. If online purchases have negatively impacted the ability of the government to capture those taxes, then ultimately I guess it’s fair for them to review the situation. Effectively we who have purchased from overseas were simply using a loophole to avoid paying tax.

Fast forward a few more years, Harvey will still go under (unless he changes his operations), because we are choosing more and more to buy online, instead of from a bricks and mortar store.


It also managed to capture sales less than $1000 and put them under the GST. My issue is that a lot of these things people buy including Dr. Who memorabilia or whatever have already had tax collected on them so should by rights be tax exempt. The problem is now ebay and every other website that has caught up to this is now collecting GST for Australia regardless of what the actual tax status of the item is…

A lot of people including myself get caught up in this when we’re trying to save money by buying goods second hand but now have had the GST tacked onto it… when you’re starting to talk about 10% of several hundred dollars equivalent in a foreign currency this all starts to add up… Especially on goods that have been taxed already… that’s two bites at the cherry.

I don’t mind what Amazon does or does not do… I don’t like supporting Jeff Bezo for one given how he treats his employees. Aside from that I’ve never really been bothered to wait long enough except to buy a couple of books here and there… Amazon has never really been amazingly cheap. Ebay on the other hand I’ve spent a lot of time on there over the years and have several hundred transactions.

I understand they’re trying to make us spend more money in Australia… but then the market is all kinds of ridiculous in Australia… Either being overpriced because there is too many middle men skimming profits in between or having goods that are simply unavailable for a reasonable price.

The greatest irony is that goods are generally still cheaper overseas even with the 10% on top so the tax isn’t even achieving its goal of making people shop locally.


I don’t have a problem with that as a theory but in practice it has meant that I now can’t buy things I used to buy (no not Dr Who but yes Amazon).

I’m yet to find an alternate supplier for certain amateur radio products (there is only one small bricks and mortar store in Melbourne and they don’t carry what I want and 1 somewhat larger one in Sydney and they don’t import that brand).


Most stuff I have bought recently was eBay or Amazon so was all sorted by them and GST paid… but I’ve also bought a few things direct from companies out of the US and UK who didn’t mention GST in any way. Both were in the $AU50 - $75 range and none were pipped by customs or held in any way.

It seems that enforcement is pretty lax and/or they are content with Amazon and eBay covering a large percentage of the total incoming stuff? I’ve seen a few other places that also charge GST so maybe they are covering most.


Second hand goods are supposed to incur GST - at least when purchased from a business.

I haven’t personally seen eBay themselves becoming involved with adding GST to know where they are doubling up - I know plenty of business entities on eBay will offer a Tax Invoice if requested. Are you saying that eBay are then adding another 10% on top of the auction price?

(For the record, despite above - I wish there hadn’t been a change! And the change that should have happened IMO was the addition of truck loads of staff to impose GST on goods as they enter the country rather than this crazy method of trying to convince people like eBay / Amazon that it’s their responsibility to collect an Australian Tax.)


Yes, ebay are skimming 10% off the top of every sale regardless now for overseas goods regardless of whether you buy from a business or individual. That’s what got me about all this 10% regardless… my latest ebay transaction 00%20pm


Ah, ok.

Was the auction £19, or £20.90?

Ultimately I don’t think it’s eBay that’s at fault here - they are likely just doing what the govt has requested. There’s no doubling of GST anywhere in this instance.


Yeah they added 10% of the price in pounds after the sale.


That’s how GST collection works on overseas sales that don’t already include it


Ok - that’s rough.

eBay should be including mention of the GST being added to the final price. They can identify whether it’s from AU or not, so should be stating the GST on any applicable auctions… Not a HUGE deal on a £19 item, but if it was £190… £1900…


they call them “import charges.” for example and yes it does add up on items basd on coast. Before you ask further questions these pedals have electronic power meters built into the pedals which adds up to the cost.


Yeah I despise H Norman so much as result of that greedy Gerry being the most vocal advocate for the sub-$1000 GST, and them ripping us off for so many years.

As a result I routinely now visit HN to view and select what electrics I want, and then order them on line.


We shall call it the Harvey Norman tax… and yes it does justify the means… Morally they can’t complain when we do it.


I’m pretty sure that’s what they refer to it over on whirlpool.


It’s not always going to be an option… but I know exports / imports values are often falsely stated for the purpose of avoiding taxes… Depending on the situation, could always ask the seller to state $0 value or gift etc… see if that works. Not that I’m condoning that sort of thing of course.


The biggest problem with that is that you default on any insurance with the shipping so if it doesn’t arrive in one piece you have no recourse. The other problem with that is that if customs do check the value you will be taxed anyway.


Didn’t say it was perfect :slight_smile: Also for the sender (ie a business), if customs do pick it up - they may audit the company in question and they could, from what I understand, face fraud or other charges for falsifying documents.


I was just on eBay, ended up looking at something that was from the USA, and it stated that “10% GST will apply”.

eBay must have read this thread.