It’s election year next year, of course they aren’t going to change it now

Nicky Wagner is no slouch and she knows that whacking GST on online purchases in an election year might well cost significant amounts of votes.

That’s why she’s parked the issue until at least 2018.

The Government wants to lower the threshold on online purchases which qualify for GST from mid-2018, but says more work is needed and there will be no change without public consultation.

Currently, online purchases don’t qualify for GST and tariff duty unless the total tax owed is $60 or more – meaning a purchase price of about $400. But goods such as clothes, accessories, and shoes attract both duty and GST, meaning charges may be payable when the purchase price exceeds $225, according to the New Zealand Customs Service.  

The $60 duty threshold, referred to as the de minimis, is the point at which more would be spent on the administration and collection than would be collected in revenue.

Customs Minister Nicky Wagner today said she is continuing to look at different ways to collect tax effectively, and the government acknowledges a lower threshold “would help to level the playing field, but there’s no quick or easy solution”.

“Customs needs to look into more detail around what some of the collection mechanism options could look like and what the border transaction fees might be,” Wagner said.

“Once Customs has a better understanding of the best ways to collect tax for low-value imports, we will look to lower the threshold, potentially from the 2018/19 financial year.”

Here’s hoping that Labour see this as a passing car to bark at…and go into the election promising to protect old-fashioned local businesses by racking up the GST on online purchases. That will be a real vote winner.


– NZ Herald

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.