GST Change: Retailers Told Not To Add VAT

Large overseas online retailers have been told not to charge VAT as well as GST when they start adding the local tax to purchases by Jersey customers from Saturday.

That is one of the assurances from Comptroller of Taxes Richard Summersgill, in a new government blog post.

From this Saturday, islanders will have to pay the 5% tax on all purchases with large online retailers such as Amazon and eBay.

It'll be applied on checkout, regardless of the value of their goods.

Thousands of islanders were unaware of the change and many have reacted angrily to it, and to their shopping getting more expensive at a time of already soaring prices.

Hundreds of people took to Channel 103's social media pages to react to the news:

Kate Maskrey

If they provided decent shops we wouldn't have to shop online, town is a disgrace.

Mark Bingle

If the Jersey government taxed the wealthy like they tax the working classes we would not need GST, joke.

Amy Evans

Will still be cheaper than buying on island!!!

Rachel Stirrup

It’s not going to put any shops back in town or anything on the shelves is it?

Shoppers we spoke to on King Street earlier told us:

"I think it's absolutely ridiculous, we pay enough as it is, there's nothing over here that's actually affordable anymore."

"It's absolutely stupid, because at the end of the day whatever we try and buy, they whack on more money on it anyway."

"Not very happy about it, but what can you do?"

"I think we get charged enough over here with everything. Guernsey don't do this do they? We're struggling as it is."

"Getting things delivered to the island is just easier for us - it's just a struggle over here."

"I'm not against it, but I don't want to pay GST and VAT."

"I'll still use Amazon because it gets delivered to my home and I can order from my home, and I get a better range of products."

"Doesn't really bother me too much, I think people have a perception that Amazon is cheaper where it actually isn't. Just been in the shop there, looking for a pair of shoes, I actually checked my phone on Amazon and it was the same price."

"I think people need to shop around and support the high street a bit m0re."

"It's stupid, we get (charged) GST anyway.  My family, we do online bulk orders from Amazon and it’s so much easier. GST was not a good option."

In a government blog, Mr Summersgill says the retailers affected have been issued with guidance notes to charge VAT as well as GST, and that customers should check before they buy that VAT has been removed.

"Guidance notes have been provided to overseas retailers, clearly stating that sales to people in Jersey should not be subject to VAT or its equivalent. Retailers will need to update their systems to recognize Jersey and apply only GST at the point of sale. Customers should check with retailers that VAT has been removed at the point of sale."

He also says retailers won't stop delivering to Jersey because of the changes.

 "...retailers have been working with representatives to implement these changes. They see it as a benefit because it enables faster delivery to their customers, as the GST will no longer need to be paid upon arrival in Jersey."

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