Story image

NZ Government clamps down on GST for overseas goods retailers

01 May 18

The NZ government has announced that they will be closing the loophole that allows overseas retailers to sell into New Zealand without applying GST.

This is a welcome decision to Retail NZ who released a statement calling it “fantastic news”, noting that the law as it was gave those selling through foreign websites an uncompetitive advantage over Kiwi retailers.

“GST is supposed to be a universal tax on consumption in New Zealand, but that has been undermined by the steady growth of online shopping and the rise of foreign websites selling into New Zealand,” says Retail NZ public affairs general manager Greg Harford.

“The previous Government dithered on this issue for many years, and it has seriously impacted New Zealand retail businesses for a long time.”

From October 1, 2019, overseas websites selling into the New Zealand market will have to register for GST, just like any other company who wishes to sell goods within New Zealand.

“Small businesses such as bookshops have convincingly argued they are penalised by a system which is badly out of date,” says Revenue and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash in a statement from the Beehive.

“It’s particularly difficult for very small shops outside the main centres. Some Kiwi firms are doubly disadvantaged, as online retailers who sell into Australia will soon pay GST to the Australian Tax Office.

“Retail is a tough business. To be successful, retailers need to offer great products, great prices and an outstanding customer experience across both digital and bricks and mortar channels. Today’s announcement isn’t a silver bullet for the sector, but it does mean that Kiwi retailers can now focus on delivering great customer experiences, without suffering a competitive disadvantage imposed by Government.”

Nash goes on to give kudos to the previous government, disagreeing with Harford’s implication that they had little to do with this legislation change.

“GST has been collected on services and digital products from offshore, such as streamed movies and music, since 2016. This extends that to goods,” Nash says.

“I acknowledge the work of the previous Government which agreed to a GST Discussion Document in July 2017. It forms the basis of the document released today. The former Revenue Minister Judith Collins got the ball rolling on this and it is a pleasure to complete her work. This is an example of an issue with cross-party support.”

Workday customers start deployments to AWS infrastructure
Business software vendor Workday has turned it's previously announced AWS partnership into a reality.
Royole's FlexPai: So bendable phablets are a reality now
A US-based firm called Royole is delivering on that age-old problem of not being able to fold up your devices (who hasn't ever wished they could fold their phone up...)
How to leverage cloud for data-driven business ops
The next gen of cloud-based data platform services are flexible and cost-effective so even small organisations can unlock data insights.
What MSPs can learn from Datto’s Channel Ransomware Report
While there have been less high profile attacks making the headlines, the frequency of attacks is, in fact, increasing.
Cisco expands security capabilities of SD­-WAN portfolio
Until now, SD-­WAN solutions have forced IT to choose between application experience or security.
IDC - Global digital transformation spend to near $2T by 2022
Hardware and services spending will account for more than 75% of all DX spending in 2019.
AlgoSec delivers native security management for Azure Firewall
AlgoSec’s new solution will allow a central management capability for Azure Firewall, Microsoft's new cloud-native firewall-as-a-service.
Gartner - Global RPA spending hitting its stride
The biggest adopters of RPA today include banks, insurance companies, utilities and telecommunications companies.