Turnbull government’s online shopping tax drives Amazon USA out of Australia

The ATA, a 75,000+ member non-partisan grassroots advocacy body representing the interests of Australian taxpayers, today condemned the Turnbull government’s online shopping tax on goods valued under $1,000, which has resulted in major global retailer Amazon USA’s intention to cease sales to Australian consumers.


“The government’s online shopping tax denies Australian shoppers and our families the same consumer choice available to billions of shoppers worldwide.” Said ATA Director of Policy, Satya Marar. “Last year, the ATA gave evidence to a senate inquiry that the online shopping tax would not make Australian retailers competitive, would not raise a significant amount of revenue for the government and that the cost of implementing the tax would force major online platforms to exit the market or cease serving Australians entirely. Now, after persistent denial by the government, we see these consequences in action.

“With another federal election on the horizon, the online shopping tax is a failure by the government to prioritise the interests of working Australians and their families. Instead, we see capitulation to intense lobbying by major retailers whose products remain significantly more expensive on average than similar goods available online overseas due to a combination of burdensome local pressures such as zoning laws, electricity costs, strict labour regulations and red tape. Unfortunately, there have only been minor attempts by state and federal government to rectify any of these underlying factors.

“As a result, consumers suffer due to higher prices at the behest of well-funded special interests.

“Abolishing the new tax will ensure that Australians continue to enjoy access to affordable online products and the same consumer choice enjoyed by billions of people in other countries. It would also fit nicely with the government’s purported policy agenda of company and personal income tax cuts which are meant to let taxpayers keep more of our own money.”

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