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Amazon blocks Aussie shoppers from US site as new tax rules come into force

01 Jun 2018

Amazon will force Aussie customers to use its Australian website instead of its much larger US site in order to get round a new sales tax, the online retail titan confirmed today.

The company will enforce what’s known as “geoblocking” from July 1, when a 10 per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST) is applied to imported online goods worth less than A$1,000.

“While we regret any inconvenience this may cause customers, we have had to assess the workability of the legislation as a global business with multiple international sites,” Amazonsaid in a statement.

It added that this was the first time Amazon had ever taken this action in any of its world wide markets.

The move is expected to push more traffic to the Australian website, although it could wind up angering consumers as the site has a much smaller range of products – a tenth of its American counterpart.

Amazon say some international products will still be available in Australia on its global store platform.

Australian Labor MP Andrew Leigh described Amazon’s move as “an utter embarrassment” for treasurer Scott Morrison.

“Less purchasing choice means higher prices for Australian consumers at a time when they are struggling with record low wages growth and cost of living pressures,” he said.

In response, Morrison said: “The government doesn’t apologise for ensuring multinationals pay a fair amount of tax here in Australia.”

Source: City A.M.