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Almost all international shipments are subjected to duty and import taxes by the government of that country. So there is no way that you can avoid paying taxes when you ship something internationally. However, there are some ways to minimize taxes when shipping overseas. If you are using services from some of the international moving companies worldwide movers it is best to ask them for advice. Here are some possibilities for reducing taxes when moving overseas.
What are you obligated to pay when shipping overseas?
Moving overseas will give you a couple of headaches. Even if you are using overseas relocation services you will have to fill out a lot of forms and you need to follow regulations, or you will have problems during your relocation.
When you are moving overseas, you will probably ship some of your belongings. Have in mind that you will have to pay import taxes in Australia. Every box or package that you ship will go through customs before they release it for delivery. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they will open every package. They have different scanners and x-rays, the ways to check the package. Your task is to properly pack your belongings so they don’t get damaged.
Goods and Services Tax (GST)
Goods and Services Tax (GST) is payable on taxable shipments and imported taxable goods. There are some exemptions to this. You will have to pay GST in case you are buying some goods that need to be shipped.
Customs duties and how to minimize taxes when shipping overseas
Customs duty and taxes are payable for imported goods that are over 1000 AUD and tobacco and alcohol. So if you are importing goods with a value over 1000 AUD you will have to fill out import forms and pay duties and taxes. However, you can import used personal items and household goods without having to pay duty and taxes. This is only for the personal goods that you owned at least 12 months before moving to Australia. Check with your international movers to Australia about the detailed regulations regarding your belongings.
One of the ways to minimize taxes when shipping overseas is to pack your parcels paying attention that a value is less than 1000 AUD per parcel. You could also send moving boxes overseas via regular mail, instead of courier. It is a little bit slower, but it is cheaper. If you have a lot to ship, you will save a lot by dividing your packages and shipping them this way.
Check import requirements and prepare accordingly
There are some items that you cannot ship or bring. Make sure that you check import requirements before you start to pack. This usually includes live plants, fresh produce, prohibited seeds, etc.
Custom taxes or import duties are applied to items that are for commercial use. When you are shipping your belongings, for personal use, you won’t have to pay taxes.