Amazon is Now Collecting 15% Tax on eBooks Sold in New Zealand

227929891_c89a7e5600_bAt the beginning of this month New Zealand changed its tax laws to require overseas sellers to collect its 15% goods and services tax on all good s sold over the internet, including ebooks. It's not clear how NZ will get sellers with no presence in NZ to comply, but Amazon has already announced that would collect the tax on schedule.

About two weeks back Amazon announced the change in policy in the KDP support forums:

Starting October 1, 2016, e-books sold to customers in New Zealand will be subject to a 15% New Zealand Goods and Services Tax (GST).  This change will affect the prices New Zealand customers see on the Amazon.com and Amazon.com.au websites.

As a result, from October 1, 2016, Amazon will begin collecting and remitting GST for sales to customers in New Zealand.  When calculating royalties for sales to customers in New Zealand, we will use the tax-exclusive list prices you provide to us for Amazon.com and Amazon.com.au.

I haven't found evidence to suggest that Apple and Kobo have also complied with the new tax law, but all three did comply when Japan made a similar change to its tax laws last year. So it is highly probable that they are all collecting the GST on behalf of New Zealand.

You can read about the new rules on the NZ gov't website. Ther eis also an ongoing discussion over on MobileRead.

image by T?kuta

About Nate Hoffelder (11576 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

6 Comments on Amazon is Now Collecting 15% Tax on eBooks Sold in New Zealand

  1. Yup! Being based here, this was inevitable but I’m not sure how many people it hits. Many of the people in NZ who were in the know bought the amazon.com linked one as opposed to the amazon.au (which NZ forms part of) and where you essentially get a worse deal.
    Being stuck with amazon.au for example, appears to mean you can’t promote free ebooks in the Australian/NZ region which seems to remove you from what should be your most logical largest market. The addition of the 15% GST charge on ebooks in NZ is fairer for local NZ bookshops but will probably put another nail in the Amazon-related digital sales here.

  2. Apple has a NZ base of operations so they were always collecting the 15% GST.

  3. Why do people think this is such a big deal? Or, more to the point, why do Americans think this such a big deal? The rest of the world still pays stupid amounts of double taxation when dealing with America; first in state based sales taxes and for those selling through sites like Amazon and eBay with income based taxes to the IRS (the amount varies according to which country the seller is from).

  4. This is a big deal because it is a confiscatory tax that is leveraged against publishers, and subsequently authors. Also, this is about books, and is regressive to an amazing degree. Those who have to buy books: students and professionals, are the ones most impacted, whereas New Zealand passes increasingly regressive copyright extensions which will largely be an additional burden, benefiting large media conglomerates in the United States and Europe. Claiming that the small bookstore is the one who will benefit is ridiculous. Ebooks provide more value than just being “a book”, and small bookstores don’t sell ebooks.

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