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If You Are A Woman Who Likes Online Shopping We've Got Some Bad News For You

Federal treasurer Joe Hockey announced that GST will now apply to all online shopping and the tampon tax will not be removed.

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Treasurer Joe Hockey announced on Friday that 10% GST will be applied to all products and services coming into Australia.

AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

State and territory treasurers formally agreed to the change on Friday, which will come into effect on 1 July 2017.

Currently, you only have to pay GST on an overseas online purchase if it costs more than $1,000.

Joe Hockey said this will level the playing field for Australian retailers and described it as "a great outcome for Australian workers and Australian businesses".

The Retail Council praised the decision, and said extending the GST to imported good will result in $1.7 billion collected in 2021, with collection costs of $37 million.

Joe Hockey said the government will now send bureaucrats around the world to ask individual companies to apply the GST to their Australian sales.

Philippe Huguen / AFP / Getty Images

He said the method for collecting the tax from companies hadn't been decided yet. There have already been concerns raised about exactly how the government will be able to get small businesses overseas to cough up the tax.

Consumer advocacy group CHOICE warned that if Australia follows other countries, this could lead to people being charged a "parcel pick-up tax" if they buy from small online retailers.

“Under the same approach as the UK system, a $20 book purchased online from an unregistered business could end up costing an extra $2 in GST, plus $16.97 for the parcel pick-up tax," said spokesperson Matt Levey.

“It would also throw online retail into chaos, as uncollected parcels ordered from unregistered businesses are left to clog up post offices across the country," he said.

And after a high-profile campaign to get the GST on tampons removed, the treasurer confirmed that it will remain, because all the states couldn't come to an agreement.

Keira Morgan / / Creative Commons

"The treasurers failed to come to unanimous agreement to remove the application of the GST on feminine hygiene products. As is required, there needs to be unanimous agreement to a change," he said.

"There was no agreement, therefore the matter has come to an end and the current arrangements are in play."

Treasurers from Queensland, South Australia and the ACT led the push to remove the GST from sanitary products in the meeting, with NSW opposed to the change.

Alexandra Lee is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.

Contact Alex Lee at

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