Swan Chamber of Commerce calls for GST relief

Stock image.
Stock image.

A GROUP of businesses owners across WA met with Senator Dean Smith at the Swan Chamber of Commerce boardroom last month to discuss ways to bring forward the start date for the Government to implement the scrapping of the $1000 GST threshold on overseas imports and to hopefully have it implemented this year rather than from July 1, 2017.

Senator Smith will be back in Midland for further talks with the chamber this Thursday, September 29, from 2pm.

Mr Smith wants to meet with Chamber members to bring them up to date on what’s been happening with the GST threshold.

The Senator assured the group he would make a point of championing the cause for all Australian businesses and would report back to the members.

Chamber president Gerry Hanssen indicated he would like to see it resolved and in place by October 1, thus ensuring a far better Christmas trading period for businesses.

Mr Hanssen asked the Senator to share this request with the Prime Minister, the Treasurer and Small Business Minister.

The main issue retailers face is the collection of the GST from overseas companies.

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Members of the Chamber, who have been lobbying government ministers on the issue for some years, have suggested that the financial institutions could easily collect the GST as the online transaction takes place when the money is being paid, either by credit card or by bank transfer.

This method of collection would take potential paperwork off the government in the collection area, minimising extra work for government departments.

It would also eliminate some overseas companies creating fraudulent invoice amounts to help Australian buyers avoid paying the GST.

“Australian businesses must come first,” Mr Hanssen said. “The chamber believes it’s the duty of our politicians to make sure that Australian business owners are all on a level and fair playing field when it comes to importing goods from overseas. Currently this is not the case.”