New laws introduced in July of 2018 aimed at applying GST to imported goods valued at $1,000 or less have returned revenues 300% higher than originally anticipated.

Deputy Commissioner Tim Dyce said revenue statistics showed that targeting digital marketplaces and lower value online retailers was possible.

“The digital services measure has already achieved $272 million GST in the first year or 180 per cent ahead of forecast. We’ve collected $81 million from the low value imported goods measure in the first three months of operation, already above our full year revenue estimate of $70 million. We’re tracking at over 300 per cent of forecast,” said Mr Dyce.

“There was a lot of discussion prior to their introduction about whether these kinds of measures could possibly work, and in many ways it is the most significant change in the way we have collected GST since its inception almost exactly 20 years ago.

“Not only have we had high levels of registration for these measures and well above forecast revenue, we’ve even had feedback from some online sellers that the registration has improved their business processes and given them greater insight into their sales performance.”

The amendments, first presented in the 2016–17 federal budget, were expected to generate $300 million over a three year span.