Online Retailers Selling into Australia: Register for GST Now to Avoid Penalties

SYDNEY--()--The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has outlined actions it can take to support complying online retailers from unfair disadvantage if competitors do not comply.

From 1 July 2018, GST will apply to the sale of low value goods sold to consumers in Australia valued at A$1,000 or less. International retailers must register online if they have a GST turnover of A$75,000 or more in a 12-month period.

The ATO has reported a positive response to date and will continue to offer full support to registered online retailers to ensure they are prepared for the new changes.

ATO Assistant Commissioner Adrian Preston-Loh said this would include taking action to ensure these businesses were not commercially disadvantaged by non-compliant competitors.

“Our preferred approach is to continue working with businesses to help them comply. However we will make sure that any businesses that have made a genuine attempt to meet their taxation obligations will not be disadvantaged,” Mr Preston-Loh said.

“Businesses that decide not to comply may face penalties.”

The ATO will use financial data tracking, customs data and online investigations to identify those that haven’t met their obligations. These businesses may face actions including:

  • compulsory registration for GST on behalf of the business
  • imposing an additional 75% administrative penalty, which then becomes legally payable
  • intercepting funds from Australia destined for the business
  • registering the debt in a court in the business’ country
  • requesting the taxation authority in the business’ country to recover the debt

The new law taxes consumption in Australia. It ensures GST will now apply equally to imported and domestically sourced goods. It will not affect any existing trade or customs tariff requirements for retailers selling goods to Australia.

“The new taxation measure will provide fairer trading for all retailers and ensure low value goods purchased by consumers in Australia have the same tax treatment, no matter where they are purchased from,” Mr Preston-Loh said.

For businesses yet to register, registration on the simplified registration system is available at

More information about compliance can be found by:


Media Contact:
Victoria Kougias

Release Summary

Online Retailers Selling Into Australia: Register For GST Now To Avoid Penalties


Media Contact:
Victoria Kougias