Jersey price highlights tax inequity

The high cost of All Blacks rugby jerseys sold in local shops highlights the need for online overseas purchases to be subject to New Zealand taxes, say retailers. Photo / Getty Images
The high cost of All Blacks rugby jerseys sold in local shops highlights the need for online overseas purchases to be subject to New Zealand taxes, say retailers. Photo / Getty Images

Controversy over the high cost of All Blacks rugby jerseys sold in local shops compared to those available online overseas highlight the need for online overseas purchases to be subject to New Zealand taxes, retailers say.

Reports this week showed that an All Blacks replica jersey, manufactured by adidas, is available for $220 in New Zealand retail stores, but listed for sale at US$79.99 ($92.68) on overseas websites.

Once the cheapest shipping price is added to the jersey available online - a two- to three-week mail delivery - the cost rises to US$94.99 ($110.06). With a faster delivery, which would see it arrive in one week, it costs US$146.26 ($169.45).

New Zealand Retailers Association chief executive John Albertson said today the price gap between that in New Zealand and the one-week delivery was not that great once taxes was taken into account.

Though the high New Zealand dollar was a factor, Mr Albertson said local retailers were also subject to 15 per cent GST and a 10 per cent duty for anyone bringing in goods valued at $400 or more.

Mr Albertson said retailers believed purchases of overseas online goods should also be subject to those taxes.

"If we are moving to a model of taxing consumption rather than income, then the Government should tax all consumption," he told NZPA.

"That would help local retailers start from a level playing field."

He said the alternative for those who thought something they bought overseas should be subject only to local taxes was higher income tax at home.

"Anything consumed in New Zealand should be taxable irrespective of where it comes from."

Mr Albertson said his association was trying to work out how much revenue the Government was losing by not imposing such taxes, "but I wouldn't be surprised if it was $70 million to $100 million".

He said he was confident technology existed which would make it worth the Government trying to collect such taxes.

Adidas New Zealand country manager David Huggett said it gave a recommended retail price, which was set in relation to the local market.

All Blacks assistant coach Steve Hansen said he would buy a jersey in New Zealand rather than online as "I don't know how that works", but that it was up to the individual where they bought the jersey.

"As long as people are wearing the All Black jersey and supporting us, that'll be great."

- NZPA

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