The Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, and Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator the Hon Anne Ruston, are inviting wine producers to take part in consultation on the exposure draft legislation to reform the wine equalisation tax (WET) rebate, as announced on 2 December 2016.
“The Government is delivering on its commitment to our great Australian wine industry by ensuring the rebate is targeted to wine producers who build brands, invest in regional communities and create local jobs,” Minister O’Dwyer said.
“These reforms are the result of industry calling for action to address distortions in the market through the misuse and exploitation of the rebate.”
From 1 July 2018, eligible producers will be required to own at least 85 per cent of the grapes used to make wine throughout the winemaking process.
The rebate will be limited to wine branded with a registered trademark, and in certain cases to wine branded with a common law trademark. The rebate will also be limited to wine packaged in a container not exceeding five litres for domestic retail sale.
There will be arrangements to allow cider and perry products packaged in up to 51 litre kegs to access the rebate. This will accommodate common industry practices for sales on tap in restaurants and pubs.
In addition, wine producers will need to better link their rebate claims to the wine tax being paid.
The WET rebate cap will also be reduced from $500,000 to $350,000 effective from 1 July 2018.
“These changes, along with the new $100,000 Wine Tourism and Cellar Door grant, will ensure that the Australian wine industry continues to deliver economic and social benefits in their regions,” Minister Ruston said.
The exposure draft legislation and explanatory material are available on the Treasury website.
Submissions close on Friday 28 April 2017.