back to article Amazon can't or won't collect sales tax in Australia

Amazon has decided that rather than try to collect Australia's Goods and Services Tax (GST), it's going to force locals to shop only at its Australian store. At issue is the Australian government's long-held (and long-criticised) desire to levy GST on all purchases made from overseas vendors, replacing a policy of taxing only …

  1. DougS Silver badge

    47 different state sales taxes

    It is actually way more complicated than that. Where I live the counties were given the authority to add an extra penny to go to local schools, and my county let the cities vote on it and the unincorporated areas of the county, so some places in the county have the extra penny and some don't. I know this is far from the only example.

    That's one of the reasons Amazon fought so long against collecting state sales taxes - it is a big pain in the ass. If Australia is just a single rate everywhere then it is at least 1000x simpler than in the US...

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: 47 different state sales taxes

      They also do different VAT rates for the EU.

      So basically their reason is they can't be arsed because Australia's too puny to stand up to them.

      1. Mage Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: 47 different state sales taxes/ Eu Rates

        Sort of...

        Irish people use Euro. Amazon.ie redirects to Amazon.co.uk

        If you are in Ireland you can only buy Kindle eBooks on Amazon.co.uk, which uses Sterling.

        No point in using Amazon.ca or Amazon.com due to high shipping costs, and customs hold it till invoice supplied, then 23% VAT (on total inc shipping + €8 handling) and pay exact cash to postman.

        Curiously they have added English option to Amazon.de (Germany in same Customs Union & currency as Ireland.). Not all items will ship and shipping costs erratic.

        Amazon.co.uk doesn't show if item is deliverable at all if using search, nor true shipping cost to Ireland until checkout started.

        Amazon have an arrogant attitude to smaller countries, customers and content providers (KDP Select and Amazon prime rip off authors).

        So my sympathy is with Australia.

    2. 100113.1537

      Re: 47 different state sales taxes

      Depending on which state you live in, it is the purchaser and not the vendor who is liable for payment of sales taxes. Thus Amazon can collect or not collect at their discretion and if sales taxes have not been levied then it is up to the purchaser to add up all of the taxes they have not paid (by, for example, buying something in one state, county or town) and actually using it somewhere else.

      I know this directly as our accountant was slapped with a bill one time for "estimated unpaid state and local taxes", but - being an accountant - was able to document the actual amount owed and it was substantially less. She warned us and we then tracked all out of state purchases. My wife still does the books for her sister and reports "use tax" (basically the difference between what was paid on the item where it was bought and the applicable rate where the item was used) to the relevant tax authorities.

      Bottom line, Amazon don't (always) handle US state sales taxes and they certainly don't levy Canadian HST on purchases delivered from the US - even though orders are placed through Amazon.ca. Amazon.com doesn't deliver to Canada (although Amazon.co.uk does). What they have done in Australia is not any different from their policies elsewhere.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        @100111.1537

        Curious how your state was able to figure out you were buying stuff from out of state to try to collect such use taxes? All taxes that have sales taxes technically require such payments, but I've never heard of anyone actually paying them because there was no way for your state government to find out you bought a TV (for example) from a NYC company without paying sales tax and had it shipped to your house.

        If you're talking something really expensive, like a piece of farm equipment costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, maybe they do have a way of tracking that (or rely on the local dealer to report "hey John down old mill road has himself a shiny new combine he didn't buy from me, maybe you should check and see if he paid taxes on it")

    3. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: 47 different state sales taxes

      One of our clients decided to open a couple of US based shops, so one of our devs had a look a the local tax law to make sure we could process it correctly.

      As far as anyone could tell from reading it, the tax law specified how fractions of a cent were to be rounded up or down, although from what we could tell, they just specified the standard if x<5 then round down, else round up.

      We were all happier when their trial went bust, and we didn't have to expand to other states. At least European laws don't try to redefine maths.

      1. The Nazz Silver badge

        Re: 47 different state sales taxes

        re Phuzz

        Arithemetic. Not maths.

      2. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: 47 different state sales taxes

        We have those rules on rounding as well

        https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/vat-trader-records/vatrec12030

        For income tax, you always round down income and round up expenses.

    4. onefang Silver badge

      Re: 47 different state sales taxes

      "If Australia is just a single rate everywhere then it is at least 1000x simpler than in the US..."

      Yep, we have just one simple GST rate everywhere in Australia. The only complication is that it doesn't apply to everything.

    5. lardymcfartpants

      Re: 47 different state sales taxes

      it's even more complicated than that!

      my address is Bothell, which is in King County, except I don't live in Bothell City limits, I'm in unincorporated Snohomish county. For 3 years, Amazon charged me King County tax (9.5%) when in fact my actual tax rate is 6.5% - all because my address said Bothell.

      Cue an hour on the phone with customer services and a large refund.....

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Doesn't it simply mean that people will use VPNs to access Amazon.com, and buy tax-free?

    1. hitmouse

      Re: "Fall Creators Update"

      Australian delivery addresses are not masked by VPNs.

      They could also choose not to honour cards issued by Australian banks, much like many UK vendors won't allow you to charge against non-EU bank cards.

      1. msknight Silver badge

        Re: "Fall Creators Update"

        There already exists a large market for Chinese people who buy Australian goods and ship them to China. https://www.businessinsider.com.au/meet-the-chinese-students-making-up-to-3000-a-week-selling-australian-vitamins-and-baby-formula-back-to-china-2016-6 - if it becomes financially viable, then the reverse will surely start happening.

      2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: "Fall Creators Update"

        They'd have to block mail forwarders too, in that case.

    2. chekri

      Not in the case of any physical item as you would have to have it shipped to Australia which is an obvious catch point.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      How does VPN = tax-free?

      Bypassing amazon.com.au will just avoid GST which is money that stays in Australia - if you use VPN to buy from amazon.com you will still be paying export and sales taxes to the US.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds like they want to drive traffic to Amazon.com.au, to drive up sales on that site, which in turn will increase that site's attractiveness and draw both more content and traffic. Which is reasonable because anyone with the choice between the global site (word chosen deliberately!) and the local site, has a thousand times the choice of content on the global site, so why use amazon.com.au today?

  4. MostlyGordon

    Overseas GST = Gerry harvey Sales Tax

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Stop

      Overseas GST = level playing field for local businesses (ar at least a more level playing field).

      I dont really understand your objection. GST revenue goes directly to the states. That pays for your roads, hospitals, police, etc (which are state funded and not federally funded). Ok you might be able to save 10% on your purchases now by purchasing overseas, but when all of your local retailers have gone out of business because they had to pay the GST and were as such more expensive, you'll find funding for hospitals, etc drops doubly fast because people out of work dont pay taxes, corporation that have gone out of business dont pay tax and those international firms who you're buying from definitely dont pay tax in Aus. Lack of funding = lack of services.

      Gain now for pain later, is rarely a great plan.

      1. James Ashton

        I dont really understand your objection.

        Yes, the GST is great, etc., etc. What we're complaining about here is that Amazon appears to be refusing to collect Australian GST on the huge range of products in their overseas stores; instead, they're outright refusing to ship these to Australian customers. We can't get them even if we were willing to pay the extra ten per cent or, indeed, for any price through Amazon. It seems that Amazon is trying to aggravate Australian customers to spite our federal government.

        Still, I'm not completely sure that the gloom and doom is all justified. The wording suggests that at least some of the products from international stores will be available via the Australian Amazon site somehow.

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
          Headmaster

          I suspect that this is just part of an ongoing Amazon rearguard action on being forced to gather tax where it is due. Basing a levied tax on the shipping address really can not be that difficult and generally very reasonable.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Amazon does something quite similar from their German site.

            My country has a different tax than Germany, so items end up costing a little more.

            They aren't good at stating that's the reason, but if I subtract the German 9% and add my local percentage, it ends up being correct.

            Would seem the same system is simply needed here?

        2. hitmouse

          I bought a refurbished laptop via Amazon US a few months ago and they happily collected duty on it before shipping to Australia. They do have the means.

          They even have a site filter that only shows items that can be shipped internationally.

      2. Andrew Moore Silver badge

        The problem is a lot of people are addicted to cheap- screw social responsibility, ethical trading, food miles etc. As far as they are concerned, cheap isn't cheap enough.

        1. Cpt Blue Bear

          "The problem is a lot of people are addicted to cheap- screw social responsibility, ethical trading, food miles etc. As far as they are concerned, cheap isn't cheap enough."

          Bullshit.

          The problem is we have a tax system that is based on a last century model of commerce. Its underlying assumption is that there is no retail trade between tax jurisdictions. It is simply no longer fit for purpose.

      3. Diogenes

        Counter intuitive

        Mrs Diogenes buys low value craft items from Wish & aliexpress and resells them at our local markets. She doesnt mind paying gst, and wearing the cost of the GSThowever the most expensive item she has purchased cost AUD 10 including postage. How much do you think it will cost to collect the 50c to 1 AuD that she will have to pay per parcel when it arrives ???

        1. VikiAi Silver badge

          Re: Counter intuitive

          @ Diogenes - in your example, she should pay no GST (or get it reimbursed) on the purchase because she is on-selling. As the final-stage seller, she collects the GST.

          @ Kernel - spot on. GST doesn't make up a tenth the mark-up Australian retailers expect. Assuming they are the slightest bit interested in stocking the things you want to buy in the first place at all!

          1. Diogenes

            Re: Counter intuitive

            @VikiAi

            The government collects from her first. Unless Ali & wish start charging GST & do the remitting , she will receive a card in the mail (instead of her package) , she then has to go to the post office to pay the GST, at which point the parcel will be released. This will cost many times the 50c in GST she will have to pay for her average parcel value, and the nett revenue will be negative.

            Shades of idiot Keating deciding to tax the ARES expecting to raise 10 million in tax - it ended up as a negative 20 million as we were now able to access deductions - I still have my biggest tax deduction (aka sword)

            1. Cpt Blue Bear

              Re: Counter intuitive

              "The government collects from her first. Unless Ali & wish start charging GST & do the remitting , she will receive a card in the mail (instead of her package) , she then has to go to the post office to pay the GST, at which point the parcel will be released."

              I pay it by credit card on the customs (or whatever they are called this week) website. It usually adds about two weeks to shipping time.

              "This will cost many times the 50c in GST she will have to pay for her average parcel value, and the nett revenue will be negative."

              This.

              This seems to be the fundamental misunderstanding of all the Level Playing Field (tm) posters. They don't seem to realise that it costs to collect. They seem to think GST is collected by the Magic Fairies and left under the pillow of the Treasurer if he's been good.

              Can you tell I'm sick of pointing this out recently [/SARCASM]

              "Shades of idiot Keating deciding to tax the ARES expecting to raise 10 million in tax"

              Sadly, he was followed by a much bigger idiot in Howard who added a high school level economic ideology. Consumption taxes are a wonderful idea in theory. Sadly, in practice they are a nightmare to administer. You can tell the people who have never had to actually do it, they are ones replying that its simple.

              We used to have a pragmatic solution: just don't try to collect where the cost of collection is more than the sum collected. A reasonable solution in an unwieldy regulatory regime. We now have a bunch of muppets imposing an even more massive, costly and unwieldy system in order to compensate for the inequalities of their original scheme. I can only regard it as a form of madness.

              The ATO never wanted the GST because it is highly inefficient from a collection point of view. They have to process a vast amount of paper work in order to collect a huge number of small amounts. In reality, the cost of collection doesn't vary much whether you collect 10c or $10,000 Its far more efficient to extract large amounts from a few choke points and they know it. As does everyone except a few economic idealogues.

          2. Cpt Blue Bear

            Re: Counter intuitive

            "@ Diogenes - in your example, she should pay no GST (or get it reimbursed) on the purchase because she is on-selling. As the final-stage seller, she collects the GST."

            That's not how it works.

            Everyone who sells anything or supplies a service to anyone and is registered for GST collects it. I then get to deduct any GST I have paid and remit the difference. There is no such thing as a final stage seller, everyone in the supply chain is collecting GST. This is what makes it an administrative nightmare.

            In this case it probably moot because I doubt Mrs Diogenes turns over more than $75,000 (excluding GST for some reason) so she should not be registered for GST, submitting a Business Activity Statement or remitting any money. She is also unable to claim any GST paid.

            1. onefang Silver badge

              Re: Counter intuitive

              "In this case it probably moot because I doubt Mrs Diogenes turns over more than $75,000 (excluding GST for some reason) so she should not be registered for GST, submitting a Business Activity Statement or remitting any money."

              If she has an ABN she'll have to submit the BAS paper work. I found that out the hard way.

              1. Cpt Blue Bear

                Re: Counter intuitive

                I suspect there is more that story than you are telling because as that stands it simply isn't true.

                You have to submit the BAS paperwork if you are registered for GST not just because you have an ABN. You have to register if your turnover is more than $75,000 excluding GST. If you don't turn over that amount, then you don't have to account for GST.

                1. onefang Silver badge

                  Re: Counter intuitive

                  Yet if you have an ABN, with turnover less than $75,000, don't register for GST, and you don't turn in your BAS, then you no longer have a valid ABN after X years. Like I said, I found out the hard way. Could be that they have since changed the rules, I no longer care.

                  1. Cpt Blue Bear

                    Re: Counter intuitive

                    Mate, those have always been the rules. Well, for values of always of about 20 years. Whether they have been correctly applied is another question (to which the answer is a very definite no). My guess is you fell foul of some kind of lack-of-activity purge system. Nothing to do with GST other than BAS returns are are used (incorrectly) as a flag of activity.

                    But none of this has anything do with Mrs Diogenes who is still not liable to account for GST but is now having to pay it on purchases at the border.

                    1. onefang Silver badge

                      Re: Counter intuitive

                      Yeah, that's what I thought the rules where to, so imagine my surprise.

      4. Kernel Silver badge

        "Overseas GST = level playing field for local businesses (ar at least a more level playing field)."

        No, to level the playing field local businesses need to borrow a large bulldozer and get stuck in.

        My own experience was a local business in NZ quoting me $400 for a few parts for my Maytag washing machine.

        Actual price I paid to purchase on-line from some random retailer in Texas - NZ$86, including shipping and currency conversion charges on my credit card.

        Adding 15% GST to my original purchase still doesn't bring it anywhere near $400.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I live in WA. We only get 47% of the GST collected by the state. The rest goes to "poorer" states.

    2. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

      Overseas GST = Gerry harvey Sales Tax

      Chalk this as a "win" for Gerry.

      1. Dagg
        Mushroom

        Chalk this as a "win" for Gerry.

        Nope, I'll be boycotting hardly normal and any associated stores.

        You just can't get the same range of stuff in Australia and when you can get it it just not 10% plus postage more expensive it is 2 - 3 times more expensive.

        Then you got into the local bricks and mortar places (Myer, I'm talking about you) and service is non existent.

        Stuff the lot.

  5. JassMan Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Nice headline

    Shame that koalas aren't bears

    1. John Sager

      Re: Nice headline

      An Oz friend played us this when we were over there:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fB2y52jfRdc

    2. TReko

      Re: Nice headline

      Neither are teddy bears. Koalas can bear more than a teddy though!

  6. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    I sympathise

    Okay, Amazon are a fairly large company, and can probably afford to set up their systems to cope, but the work involved with keeping up with all the global forms and rates of sales tax could be a nightmare. Having tried to work out the implications of doing e-commerce throughout the EU it would be 100x worse if they genuinely tried to do it globally (not just Australia - what if Nigeria wants the same, or N.Korea?)

    I think possibly WTO need to get involved to come up with some general global scheme to simplify things, while not causing too many problems for local retailers. Perhaps a simple annual return by each retailer who has sold more than $x worth of goods to a particular country, with a flat rate tax on that total amount (a bit less than the standard rate to allow for differing rates on different products - e.g. UK might be say 15% instead of the standard 20% VAT - and the rate for the year is the rate that applies at the start of that tax year). And no variations for states or regions - it would be up to the national governments to divy up the dosh.

    A simple list of countries and current tax rate would be very easy to implement, even for the smallest online retailer.

    Can I please be appointed chief economist at the WTO? Happy to work for meals and $850K p.a.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: I sympathise

      but the work involved with keeping up with all the global forms and rates of sales tax could be a nightmare

      Yet somehow they manage for corporate tax purposes.

      1. Cuddles Silver badge

        Re: I sympathise

        "Yet somehow they manage for corporate tax purposes."

        To be fair, the main way Amazon deal with corporate tax complications is to simply not pay it.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: I sympathise

      "Okay, Amazon are a fairly large company, and can probably afford to set up their systems to cope, but the work involved with keeping up with all the global forms and rates of sales tax could be a nightmare. "

      Well, to be fair, if you want to trade in a country, the onus is on you to act within that countries legal framework. If Amazon had no presence in Australia, they would be well within their rights to ignore this and leave it to Australian officials to deal with tax on imports.

      Since Amazon does have an Australian presence, then it very much in their obligation to make it clear if a something is being sold either directly by Amazon.au or an Australian seller, in which case tax is due on the sale at the checkout, or if it's an import from a foreign seller, including Amazon.com and make sure the buyer is aware that taxes and import duties are likely to be incurred on delivery. That's very much up to Australian customs agents to deal with.

      On the other hand, as originally stated, Amazon have a presence in Australia and so the Australian Government has leverage on Amazon the multinational to make them do as they're told. Amazon have chosen their response, for good or ill. Personally, I think items bought via amazon.com should be taxed and have duties applied at the border and that's the governments job to deal with locally. I go into a courier depot most days to collect stuff for work and there's almost always someone there who has been "carded" because the goods require a VAT/Duty payment before they can be delivered.

  7. coconuthead

    It isn't the amazon.com site that concerns me, but the European sites: principally amazon.co.uk, but also amazon.de and amazon.fr. There are many classical music releases in Europe available on the .com site at double the price (and of course not available at all on the .au site) of the .ukl site when they can be had at all; it's not surprising, since the classical record labels are run from Europe and that's where the music originated. Likewise, there are cinema and TV releases of varying obscurity, and Australia is in Blu-Ray region B.

    Delivery from the UK has usually also been much faster than from the US, typically a week. Although the last one took a month—perhaps they were softening us up?

    All statements so far have been that we'll be able to order most items from the .com site via the .au site. Not a word yet about items from the .co.uk site. And no sign of the email from them either.

    Given that only fresh food is exempt from GST, and it can't be imported by mail, how hard can it be to charge 10% GST on anything shipped to Australia? I think this has more to do with trying to make their Australian warehouse viable.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "I think this has more to do with trying to make their Australian warehouse viable."

      Well, if they only have one warehouse in a country the size of Australia, I can see why it might not all that viable, espcially for next day deliveries. I've seen Outback Truckers!!!

      1. coconuthead

        re: Outback truckers

        Probably your comment wasn't meant seriously, but just to make things clear:

        Australia is one of the most urbanised Western countries, with most people living in half a dozen cities, 5 million in each of Melbourne (where the warehouse is) and Sydney. Melbourne has a well-developed motorway system which also links in to interstate motorways, the largest container port, an airport with no curfew, and (with a 3km gap) the ferry to Tasmania. Many other companies distribute nationally from Melbourne. Some (like the supermarket chains) do their own shipping, and others use one of several logistics companies which offer overnight service to all the eastern cities. If you need an unusual part for your washing machine in Sydney, for most brands it's going come overnight to your house from Melbourne.

        Of course no overnight to the outback, but nobody expects it. A couple of days to Perth or the "seachange" places along the east coast.

        Only places like the Netherlands would be easier...

    2. Dagg
      FAIL

      Delivery from the UK has usually also been much faster than from the US

      Hell, delivery from the UK is faster than I've had with delivery inside Australia when they use Australia post!

  8. Murray C

    Amazon probably doesn't give a stuff about selling tat to Australia.

    AWS is the big driver of profit, and their international e-commerce business loses money.

    For 2017:

    - North America e-commerce: a profit of 2.8 billion from sales of 106 billion.

    - International e-commerce: a loss of 3 billion on sales of 54 billion

    - AWS: a profit of 4.3 billion on sales of 17.4 billion.

    https://www.zdnet.com/article/all-of-amazons-2017-operating-income-comes-from-aws/

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      These days, with companies that don't pay tax i'd take the revenue and profit figures with a ton of salt.

      Companies are well known for inventing an IP charge to their parent company of 99% of their actual profit, thereby reducing the total payable as the "profit" is less and Amazon is one of the companies that takes a very creative approach to honesty.

  9. mark l 2 Silver badge

    A few months ago I tried to buy an Amazon fire case from both Amazon.co.uk and .com to be shipped to my family in Sydney and couldn't find anyone on either site that would ship to an Australian address. So in the end I had to buy it, shipped to my home and then pay to post it to them myself. So i don't think that there could have been that many people in Australia buying from Amazon anyway, they are closer to China than the UK/US so I expect its quicker to get stuff delivered from Aliexpress or similar websites.

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      There are services that offer a local address in various countries and then forward parcels to you, for this very reason.

      Obviously you'd be paying shipping for both legs, plus a delivery markup.

      1. VikiAi Silver badge

        Which will /still/ grossly undercut local retail prices. Even /with/ GST added.

  10. Berny Stapleton

    Corporate Structure

    Any chance that the US entity can't charge GST and pay it back through the Irish entity (No, sorry, Dutch, no sorry Cayman Islands, no sorry Bermuda) to the Australian entity / Australian Govt without breaking a tax law somewhere?

    Don't know myself, just seems funny that I don't think this is a technical challenge and I can't see Amazon throwing their toys from the pram over something as easy to fix as this.

    1. john.jones.name
      Mushroom

      Re: Corporate Structure

      yes its about the corp structure and not the way you think...

      Amazon Australia is a hole in the sea that they are pouring money into

      (AWS Australian region is awesome cash generating machine ).

      So what better way to satisfy the internal politicking... REDIRECT ALL THINGS !!

      its going to be hilarious if it works since the local hardly normal retail just complains about this constantly and no one will price match "offshore companies"

      all for it personally

  11. small and stupid

    Tax my arse. Australian retail is complacent and fat and incompetent. If Amazon can capture the Australian market via amazon.au they can make tons of cash by being a bit less shit than their rivals.

    While if ozzies go to .com they are only going to make US level profits - plus the hassle of shipping and tax.

  12. onefang Silver badge

    Last time I tried to buy something from Amazon.com, it was a $15 item, that could fit in a matchbox and still leave room for the matches, but they wanted to charge $70 delivery. I eventually found another supplier. Not a great fan of Amazon.

  13. inquisitive2014

    The main reason I buy stuff on Amazon is because it is not available in Australia. Most sellers don't ship to Australia or, if they do, charge a crazy premium. I use my free shipping option to ship to my forwarder in Florida who sends it on to me in Australia for a very small fee. I intend to continue with this arrangement into the future and will continue to avoid My Harvey's overpriced and and understocked stores in Australia.

    1. onefang Silver badge

      Reminds me of the time I was searching for a supplier for some fancy electronics, could not find any in Australia, and one overseas supplier told me "Sorry, we can't ship to Austria due to lack of RoHS compliance." Luckily I found a less dumb supplier.

  14. Geoff (inMelbourne)

    The main problem with geoblocking like this is that it stops me (in Australia) using Amazon (in the USA) to buy stuff to send to a recipient in the USA.

    I have family in the USA (and also other not-Australia countries too), and every Christmas or birthday I buy some tat on Amazon and have it shipped directly to my niece(s) and/or or nephew(s). That's *much* faster than shipping from Australia. And it's *much* cheaper too.

    I'm sure this is a very common scenario.

    With geoblocking, they simply won't take my money, so I'm forced to use some other web site.

    Amazon - you're shooting yourself in the foot with this.

  15. MostlyGordon

    Leveling the playing field mr ar**. Shipping is almost always more costly than GST (especially from USA). Australian retailers are not competitive.

    I recommend us Aussies who used to do yearly road pilgrimages to QLD, instead go on a nice OS shopping trip. Maybe this would get reversed pretty quickly...

    1. Cpt Blue Bear

      "I recommend us Aussies who used to do yearly road pilgrimages to QLD, instead go on a nice OS shopping trip. Maybe this would get reversed pretty quickly..."

      It won't because its purpose is to stop Jerry Harvey pissing in the PM's ear about how unfair it all is to multimillionaires and give Scott "Happy Clapper" Morrison a way to claim he's being hard on multinational tax avoidance.

      What I haven't seen any sign of is the massive increase in Customs personel and infrastructure necessary to actually enforce this...

  16. the Jim bloke Silver badge

    Kindle

    Could be interesting to see what this does to my kindle library ..

    Do I actually continue to 'own' the 'products' I have paid amazon for ?

    Will it simply fork, and all future purchases only available from the piss-poor range that amazon.au carries - if that is the correct term for digital stock - ?

    Will prices for ebooks jump up to match the dead tree book price we enjoy in Oz (very likely outcome)

    On the bright side, this may scrape off most of the kindle "sponsored" and "prime" faeces that infest the main web shop... The modern equivalent of the discount bins of unsellable rubbish from the supermarket era.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Mushroom

    Eh go figure buy locally manufactured anyway

    Every time I tried to purchase from Amazon there was a problem, the goods I was purchasing did not belong to the same deal for free delivery or some other reason, SO in the end I'd get frustrated and just purchase locally.

    The few times I use Paypal from Ebay, they took my money then used the fact I did not have my cookies set (lost site prefs) to refuse to provide a receipt, telling me I had to go back a few steps set cookies then proceed, then they charged me for another product, Any complaint required to be in triplicate. just fix your website Paypal....

    And then

    The Government is cracking down on Digital Currency Providers DCP's requiring all to get full ID from their customers, so no Auspost Load&Go temporary Visa Debit cards for anonymity to prevent identity theft. While they may still separate internet purchases from your main bank account , your identity can be stolen. Really need 100 points of Id to acquire then register online also - just crazy.

    1. Tim99 Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Eh go figure buy locally manufactured anyway

      @Data source #58479374

      ...because terrorists! (Warning: sarcasm/cynicism alerts).

  18. Tim99 Silver badge

    How big is the markup?

    Last year I was looking for an unusual 2:1 audio connector/splitter to be delivered to Oz. The prices I got from the internet were: Sydney retailer AU$29:99 + AU$15 p&p (to Western Australia); USA (most did not ship to Oz) US$12:00 + US$30 p&p; Mainland China AU$6:00 including p&p.

    The item arrived in the post from China a week later, I tested it and installed it, and it is still working. From photos on their websites of the US and AU companies, the item appeared identical.

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