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Good news for tourists to Australia….

The Australian Government is looking at making its GST refund scheme for tourists more generous.

Amongst the measures is a proposal to allow purchases made up to 60 days before departing Australia eligible for GST refunds (currently 30 days). They are also proposing to allow tourists to aggregate multiple invoices from one retailer to meet the $300 minimum threshold (as opposed to each item having to be at least $300).

These are proposals at this stage but it seems likely they’ll go ahead in some form or another after the consultation period. Submissions close on 29 April.

Surely this is a deliberate policy of our neighbours to encourage New Zealanders and other tourists to spend more money when they travel there? If so, how will it impact New Zealand retailers? Large numbers of Kiwis travel to Australia for holidays or on business and this will be another reason for them to incorporate some shopping in their trip.

With large numbers of visitors to New Zealand expected in 2011 perhaps our Government could be looking at ways to encourage them to spend more while they are here. We may need to find ways to get some of our money back from the Aussies!

Iain

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