The announcement this week that Amazon will prevent people in Australia from making purchases from any Amazon site apart from amazon.au will impact me personally and other writers down under. The change is because the Australian Federal Government wants all internet sites selling to residents in Australia, to collect GST (Goods and Services Tax). This is currently not charged on purchases under $1000 Australian dollars, but will be applied to all purchases from 1st July 2018.
The Government is not taxing Amazon, but is requiring Amazon to collect the money for them. Now I am not saying this couldn’t be handled better by the Australian Government, but Amazon’s response is to block all purchases for Australian customers from 1st July 2018. Surely with massive profits the cost of collecting the tax couldn’t be that onorus! Now this is a shame as the newly opened amazon.au sells a very limited range of goods, compared to other countries, does not produce copies of paperbacks on demand nor CD music on demand. This impacts independent publishers of books and music. As an author and musician I will no longer be able to buy copies of my work in any other format than Kindle books.
It is possible that they will block the use of Australian credit cards from making any purchases, even if they are to be delivered to a country other than Australia. Currently Australia Post has a service where goods can be delivered to their address in the USA and they then post it on to Australia, but that may also stop in the future. I am aware of several methods using VPNs to work around this and this will mean that GST is not paid, but will mean additional postage costs and inconvenience for friends and family overseas.
What is the game Amazon? Do big multinationals really want to continue to alienate the public? If they do, then there will be a day of reckoning! The banks in Australia thought they were above the law, too big to be allowed to fail or be punished. Oh! But look what is happening, the people in control are now seeing themselves become personally and criminally liable!
How about a real cultural revolution? Pay your taxes and provide the service that you claim! Not happy Jan!
For your information and comments I have added what I think will be the cover for my new book Rock God which should be available in a couple of weeks.