Australians may cop a $5 tax on goods posted from overseas

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A proposal from the Department of Home Affairs has suggested that Australian shoppers purchasing goods from overseas will have to pay an additional fee of $5 on every item posted.

The proposed tax would be put in place to cover the growing costs of security screening, a paper obtained by Fairfax Media claims, as the number of items posted to Australia that are valued under $1,000 increase dramatically year to year.

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This cost will sit atop the existing 10% GST that will apply to all sales from July 1 this year, rather than just those over $1,000 in value, and has the potential to increase certain parcel costs by more than double their initial value.

While there would have been scope for this cost to be absorbed by online retailers such as eBay and Amazon or delivery services, both of these parties have said in the past that the levy will be passed directly onto the consumer, so we can expect to pay up if the proposal goes through.