Australia has just passed a controversial new bill that would tax all online imports with a 10% GST starting in July 2017. In a few short years e-Books and audiobooks will increase in cost if purchased from major companies such as Amazon, Apple and Google.
The new GST tax increase will not affect foreign businesses with a turnover of less than $75,000 and will be exempt, this falls in line with the current system in regards to small Australian businesses.
“We are going to have taxation officials travel around the world visiting these companies asking them to register for GST purposes,” federal Treasurer Joe Hockey said.
Mr Hockey said he had no idea of how much revenue the extra tax would bring, but it was certain to exceed the cost of collection because Australian officials would not be asked to open parcels to check whether tax had been paid.
This is a delicate new framework because tax collectors will have to establish a working relationship with over 50 companies that account for the vast majority of digital and traditional content in Australia.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.