Wed, May 02, 2018 - Page 12 News List

New Zealand plans ‘Amazon’ tax for online purchases


New Zealand yesterday announced plans to start taxing people who buy books, shoes and other small items online from abroad in a measure many people are calling the “Amazon tax.”

New Zealand Minister of Police, Fisheries, Revenue and Small Business Stuart Nash said the government plans to close a loophole that allows people to buy low-cost items from abroad without paying the 15 percent tax imposed on goods sold in local stores.

The new system would levy the same tax and must be approved by lawmakers. It would take effect from October next year.

“Small businesses such as bookshops have convincingly argued they are penalized by a system which is badly out of date,” Nash said. “It’s particularly difficult for very small shops outside the main centers.”

At present, consumers can buy to buy goods worth up to NZ$400 (US$280) from international online retailers without having to pay tax. Under the proposed plan, the onus would fall on firms to impose and collect the tax.

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