Amazon to stop Aussies shopping from its global websites

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The new tax laws will require online retailers like Amazon to apply the 10% GST to goods bought on global sites and shipped to Australia.

New rules require internet retailers like the American behemoth to collect a 10 percent goods and services tax on everything bought from overseas sites from July 1, including under the current tax-free threshold of Aus$1,000 (U.S.$760).

The company said today that shoppers in Australia will be redirected to its local site, Amazon.com.au, and that its global sites, including Amazon.com, will no longer ship to Australian addresses.

Amazon.com Inc said on Thursday it will force Australians to use its Australian website instead of its much larger USA site to avoid a new sales tax, setting the stage for a showdown with rival eBay Inc in the No. 12 economy.

While Australians will be blocked from Amazon's global websites, they will be able to buy from the retailer's Australian website. But taxes seem unlikely to protect brick-and-mortar shops from Amazon-.com or.com.au-in the long run.

In a statement about the change, Amazon said it regretted "any inconvenience this may cause customers".

Australian users weren't happy with their government's decision, and are calling the GST as the "Amazon tax".

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"Amazon's huge scale leaves them in a far better position" than other overseas-based retailers, he said.

But even with the changes, the number of products available will be a fraction of what's on sale globally.

Amazon is getting a bit of flack this afternoon over its intentions to re-direct Australian visitors to their global site to their Australian arm thanks to upcoming changes to GST on imported goods.

Treasurer Scott Morrison said the new laws "level the playing field for Australian businesses".

The government would not back down on the new tax rules, which would raise AU$300 million a year, Morrison said.

"This selection is in addition to the more than 60 million products that are already available on amazon.com.au across 23 categories, including books, fashion, toys, and electronics". "That tax revenue is used to fund essential services", the spokesperson said.

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