Amazon blocks Australia from global sites over tax

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This is obviously a bit of a blow for Aussie shoppers - the U.S. version of the site has a vastly larger selection of goods available, many of which were cheaper even after factoring in shipping costs.

Amazon will block Australians from buying from its global e-commerce websites and restrict them to a smaller local platform from July in response to new tax rules that consumer advocates fear will reduce the range of choice for customers in Australia.

Amazon announced plans to block Australian users from ordering from its main United States store (Amazon.com) and will redirect customers to its local Australian site (Amazon.com.au) instead. The tax now only applies to purchases above AU$1,000 ($757).

"We have taken this step to provide our customers with continued access to worldwide selection and allow us to remain compliant with the law which requires us to collect and remit GST on products sold on Amazon sites that are shipped from overseas", said Amazon.

Dr. Minifie, the economist, said that Amazon would probably continue to build a healthy customer base in Australia despite the change.

Amazon said Australian customers will still be able to buy products sold by Amazon US on the Amazon Global Store.

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"The second-biggest company in the world, run by the richest man in the world, shouldn't get a leave pass from paying tax in Australia", Morrison said in an email statement on Thursday. However Amazon US has 480 million.

Morrison doubted Amazon had difficulty with Australian taxes when it had the technology to cope with different tax regimes in Britain and Canada.

"If they want to take the bat and ball and go home then I think Australians will have the same view about that as they do about others who do that sort of thing in our community".

Media reports said the other major online retailer, eBay, would not follow Amazon and apply the new tax in the interests of consumers purchasing goods from its website.

"Online shopping has put the world at your fingertips but now that world has shrunk", Zinn told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

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