Review of GST on low value imported goods

On 5 July 2021 the Government announced that the Board of Taxation would undertake a review into the Low Value Imported Goods (LVIG) measure which facilitates the addition of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on low value imported goods.

The Board will assess the effectiveness of the LVIG regime and provide advice regarding its ongoing operation.

Background

Before 1 July 2018, goods imported directly by consumers costing $1,000 or less did not attract GST. High value goods with a customs value over $1,000 were assessed and charged GST at the border.

From 1 July 2018, GST was applied to low value goods using a vendor registration model known as the LVIG arrangements. This model requires suppliers, online platforms and re-deliverers with an Australian GST turnover of $75,000 or more to register, collect and remit GST to the ATO. Suppliers can also access the simplified GST registration and reporting system. The existing processes to collect GST on imports above $1,000 at the border remain unchanged.

At the announcement of this measure in the 2016-17 Budget, the Government also announced that the LVIG arrangements would be reviewed after two years to ensure they were operating as intended and to consider any international developments. The Board is requested to undertake this review with the following terms of reference.

Terms of Reference

The Board of Taxation is asked to do the following:

  1. Assess the effectiveness of the LVIG regime to efficiently collect GST with reference to the policy intent of the law that low value goods imported by consumers face the same tax regime as goods that are sourced domestically. In doing so, the review will:

    1.1 assess the effectiveness of the administration of the measure;

    1.2 assess industry compliance with the LVIG rules;

    1.3 undertake a targeted external consultation process, working closely and collaboratively with the Treasury, Australian Taxation Office, and Australian Border Force;

    1.4 examine the issues identified in the consultation process; and

    1.5 provide any observations, findings, and appropriate recommendations for improvements and certainty to the ongoing operation of the LVIG regime.

  2. Report on and assess any relevant international developments and experiences regarding the collection of GST and other consumption taxes on LVIG.

Working Group

The Board has appointed Board members Dr Julianne Jaques QC and Tanya Titman to lead the review. They will be assisted by a working group comprising industry experts, members of the tax profession, and representatives of the ATO, the Treasury, and Australian Border Force. They will conduct targeted consultation with stakeholders in the business community and government throughout the review process.

Consultation

The Board has prepared a consultation guide [PDF 620KB | Word 340KB] to explain the review process and guide stakeholders on how to contribute. It also poses a number of questions for interested parties to think about when formulating input to the review.

The Board invites your participation in the series of virtual roundtable consultation sessions:

  • Tuesday 17 August 2021
  • Tuesday 24 August 2021
  • Thursday 2 September 2021
  • Wednesday 8 September 2021

If you would like to participate in discussions, please express your interest at LVIG@taxboard.gov.au.

The Board is also seeking written submissions in response to the consultation guide. Submissions can be made until 22 September 2021 to LVIG@taxboard.gov.au.

All submissions will be published except where the submission is made on a confidential basis.

Timing

The Board is asked to report back to the Government by 17 December 2021.

Further Information

Stakeholders are invited to provide early feedback by way of an informal email on key issues to LVIG@taxboard.gov.au.

If you would like further information, please contact the Board of Taxation Secretariat at LVIG@taxboard.gov.au or +61 2 6263 4366.