NZ Online Shopping Amazon Tax

Post Update November 23rd 2019

The date of 1st December 2019 has been confirmed and the full information is available on the New Zealand IRD Website the details of which are as expected.

The New Zealand government announces the implementation date of 1st December 2019 for overseas businesses who sell more than $60,000 New Zealand dollars per year of products to be registered to take 15% GST on their behalf at point of sale for any transactions under $1000 New Zealand Dollars.

Aimed primarily at the large online marketplaces such as Amazon, Ebay and Alibaba it has been dubbed the “Amazon Tax” within New Zealand.

Currently any GST due is taken at arrival at a New Zealand port on any consignment valued over $400 (or $225 in the case of Shoes, Clothes and Accessories). It is understood that this will be simplified to over $1000 across the board.

Details are still sketchy but it would seem that if you are currently buying from a marketplace such as the above there are certainly benefits in buying direct from smaller suppliers to New Zealand from overseas in the future and avoid the obligatory “Amazon Tax”. Just like for New Zealand based businesses, there is no need to register for GST until sales exceed the $60,000 level. This gives a smaller overseas business chance to develop in the New Zealand market before having to take on the red tape.

If indeed the threshold has been raised from $225 to $1000 for Clothing, Shoes and Accessories before expensive import duties and additional charges are implemented at the border, that can only be of benefit to the New Zealand customer and overseas direct retailers wishing to sell into the New Zealand market efficiently and on a level playing field with domestic retailers.

It will be the responsibility of larger international online retailers to sort out a customer’s GST requirements for them at checkout. Currently UK International retailers do not charge the 20% European VAT to overseas buyers. To replace this with a tax relevant to where a customer is based would seem to be the future. The global online economy is here and the harmonisation of taxes and regulations to facilitate trade should be appreciated. A similar scheme has been operational in Australia for about a year now which seems to have been successful for all concerned.

For those wishing to read the official New Zealand Government release they can do so here:

For New Zealand Residents who wish to keep up to date with the situation regarding buying online from the UK we encourage you to visit our New Zealand Shopping Guide where updates relating to New Zealand specific import information will be posted: