Online shoppers could be forced to pay tax

Aussies who buy items from overseas websites could be forced to pay extra goods and services tax (GST).

The federal government has conducted a review into the situation and it may decide to impose the levy in order to make Australian merchants more competitive, the Courier-Mail reports.

Many retailers have complained that the strength of the dollar has forced people to purchase products far more cheaply from abroad.

The Australian Retailers Association thinks changes are needed.

"It needs to be a level playing field, retailers that are retailing online in Australia have to pay the GST as do bricks and mortar retailers," the organisation's executive director Russell Zimmerman was quoted as saying.

Of course, there will be concerns that the tax will force Aussies to keep their debit and credit cards in their wallets, which would be a huge shame as it appears people are finally starting to spend more money.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there was a 0.5 per cent seasonally adjusted rise in spending in September.

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