Make Amazon charge GST

Now that the Productivity Commission’s proposal to abolish parallel import restrictions has been defeated, how about getting the Government to do something that would support Australian booksellers: force overseas online etailers like Amazon to charge the good and services tax (GST) on books (and other goods?) sold to Australia?

Currently Australian retailers have to charge 10% GST but Amazon and other overseas online booksellers do not. The result is books sold in Australia look more expensive than they actually are, which is driving more consumers to buy books online overseas, encouraging imports rather than buying local. This directly affects local booksellers and, in turn, the local publishers and authors who rely on them.

Amazon charges sales tax in other jurisdictions, so there’s no technical reason why it can’t happen. It would be a nice little earner for the Government too, and would level the playing field for local booksellers who, frankly, could do with the help.

There’s a Facebook group if the idea appeals. It seems just to me.