Last Updated: July 13, 2014

Weather: Canberra -4°C - 12°C . Sunny.

Horticulture

Tax office cracking down on rorts of the wine equalisation tax producer rebate

All vine: The Australian Taxation Office is cracking down on rorts of the wine equalisati

All vine: The Australian Taxation Office is cracking down on rorts of the wine equalisation tax producer rebate and urging people to give themselves up. Source: News Limited

Grape expectation: The Australian Taxation Office is cracking down on rorts of the wine e

Grape expectation: The Australian Taxation Office is cracking down on rorts of the wine equalisation tax producer rebate and urging people to give themselves up. Source: News Limited

< Prev

 of 2

Next >

THE Australian Taxation Office is cracking down on rorts of the wine equalisation tax producer rebate and urging people to give themselves up.

Wine Victoria chairman Damien Sheehan said up to 90 per cent of Victoria’s wineries relied on the rebate to remain viable.

A spokeswoman confirmed the ATO was conducting criminal investigations into allegations of fraud by nine unnamed “entities”.

These included fictitious transactions, falsification of documents, non-payment and/or reporting of WET liabilities and falsely purchasing wine products under the quote system, which were then exported overseas.

“The ATO has received a number of voluntary disclosures from taxpayers relating to their involvement in WET rebate arrangements,” the spokeswoman said.

“Voluntary disclosure will result in significant penalty reductions.”

The ATO last year issued a Taxpayer Alert to warn people against taking part in schemes to avoid paying WET or exploit the producer rebate and encouraged those who had to voluntarily disclose their involvement.

“The ATO’s approach to addressing exploitation of the rebate is supported by the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia,” she said.

“Such arrangements undermine the intent of the rebate to assist small producers. These arrangements exploit the rebate, placing genuine producers and winemakers at a commercial disadvantage.”

WFA president Tony D’Aloisio in December called for the rebate to be scrapped for foreign winemakers and bulk wines intended for the private labels of retailers.

Wine Victoria’s Damien Sheehan said the rebate was crucial to the viability of the state’s wine industry, which was mostly made up of small producers in regional areas.

He said a recent survey found 60 per cent of Victorian producers relied on the rebate for their profitability, but analysis found the level could be as high as 90 per cent under current market conditions.

“We need to be realistic and vigilant about retaining the rebate,” he said. “We’re on the same page as WFA in terms of trying to get back to the original intent of that rebate … to support small guys with operations in regional areas.”

The wine producer rebate was introduced in October 2004 to help Australia’s large number of small winemakers.

According to government documents, WET rebates for 2008-09 totalled $221 million from a gross revenue of $950 million.

The rebate was extended in July 2005 to New Zealand producers who sold wine in Australia and their payments rose from $5 million in 2006-07 to more than $19 million in 2009-10.

Have your say

Skip to:
Read comments
Add comments

Add your comment on this story

Comments Form

1200 characters left

Your details
Post Options

Fine foods awarded this week

Pino's Dolce Vita Fine Foods for Taste Confidential

THE third week of judging in the Royal Melbourne Fine Food Awards wrapped up today with smallgoods.

NZ food prices rise

FARM Lonsdale Tomato Farm. Jamie and Angela Moran.

NEW Zealand food prices have risen as the onset of winter brings higher prices for out-of-season vegetables.

Double blow for mining state

Double blow for mining state

DEPRESSED iron ore prices have dealt the Northern Territory mining industry a double blow.

Joyce talks through grower gripes

Ag Minister Barnaby Joyce in Gippsland

IRRIGATION investment, water and labour security were top concerns when Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce visited Maffra yesterday.

Porky wad of cash for pigs

Porky wad of cash for pigs

THE Bendigo Pig Health Research Unit will be revived, with a $390,000 boost announced yesterday.

Producers slam cruelty

 Shearing at James and Rebecca Hamilton's Bradford Hills property. Sheep shearing wool. Freshly shorn ewes.

SHEEP producers have reacted with disappointment to a video showing Australian shearers abusing sheep.

Footy brawl victim recovering

 Dual premiership player Daniel Bradshaw 34, has returned to the Border/North East playing for Dederang Mt Beauty Football Cl...

A VICTORIAN footy player injured during a brawl at a Dederang game last weekend is recovering well.

Hops on top of the world

Hops harvest - Farmer manager Allan Monshing

A RISE in craft beer has Victoria’s hops growing industry poised to cash-in on worldwide demand.

ATV top spot in dispute

 2014 Honda Pioneer 700. New side by side vehicle from Honda, ATV, two-seater

A STOUSH is brewing over the accuracy of ATV sales information following the latest release of figures.