Your recent campaign to get GST levied on all Internet transactions has some rather major logical flaws.
Example 1: Women's Weekly Kids' Birthday CakesCheapest foreign sale, AUD$10.61 delivered.Cheapest Australian sale, AUD$18 delivered.Price difference: 41%.Price difference without delivery: 8% (though to be fair, the cheapest price without freight was 44% cheaper).Example 2: The Songs of Sapa, by Luke NguyenCheapest foreign sale, AUD$38.15 delivered.Cheapest Australian sale, AUD$56.39 delivered.Price difference: 32%.Price difference without delivery: 58% (clearly The Nile loads their "free" freight into the book price).Example 3: Zero History by William GibsonCheapest foreign sale, AUD$18.33 delivered.Cheapest Australian sale, AUD$25.57 delivered.Price difference: 28%.(both sources load freight into the price)Cheapest foreign sale, AUD$4.02 delivered.Cheapest Australian sale, AUD$18.04 (for the Australian edition).Price difference: 78%.(both sources load freight into the price)
Example 1: D-Link BoxeeStandard US price: US$199.Harvey Norman price: AUD$299.Current US price in AUD: AUD$196.02.Price difference: 34%.Example 2: LG BD570 Blu Ray PlayerCheapest US price: US$169Harvey Norman price: AUD$269Current US price in AUD: AUD$166.51Price difference: 38%.
|Retailer||Online sales?||Full range online?|
|Angus & Robertson||yes||yes|
|Dotti||no||no (but an impressive effort)|
The final nail in the coffin here is that the cost to collect GST on incoming mail, by opening packages, working out the cost, then having a mechanism to collect the money, would likely cost more than the tax that would actually be collected. Making it useless as a tax revenue. Let's remember that raising tax revenue for government and its services is, after all, the point of taxation. It's not designed as a way to protect the revenue of local businesses!
Of course, the retailers would suggest that in addition to the tax being levied, there also be a "collection fee" added to cover these costs. This would handily bring the price you pay online somewhere closer to their ridiculously overpriced goods. How convenient. And they wouldn't even have to compete on price!