Last Updated: May 07, 2015

Weather: Canberra 4°C - 13°C . Partly cloudy.

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

Live exporters told to change image

Live exporters told to change image

THE live export industry must do more to counter the public’s perception of the trade.

Crackdown on foreigner raids

Day of Harvest 2014

THE sale of iconic Australian food businesses to overseas interests will face greater scrutiny under new federal rules.

Pouring on milk supply

Theo Spierings, Fonterra CEO

NEW Zealand dairy co-operative Fonterra plans to process an extra eight billion litres of milk annually within the next 10 years.

Beef exports soar

FARM Colin and Sally's Organic Lamb and Beef

AUSTRALIAN beef exports have continued at a high level, with 113,341 tonnes shipped last month.

More share of profit for producers

Butcher prices

A BIGGER share of the money generated by retail beef and lamb sales is going into farmers’ pockets, new data shows.

Chicken industry in strife

Chicken industry in strife

VICTORIA’S once flourishing chicken meat industry is facing collapse.

Clubs on notice in Mallee

Clubs on notice in Mallee

THE Mallee Football League will fold under proposals from the review into football structures in Victoria’s northwest.

Indonesia to beef up trade

Indonesia to beef up trade

INDONESIA will continue to look to Australia to shore up its growing demand for beef.

US tick to spray crops from drones

US tick to spray crops from drones

A DRONE large enough to carry tanks of fertilisers and pesticides has won rare approval to spray crops in the US.

Urban cowboy

COUNTRY LIVING: Cattleman Jimmy Matthews

HIS great-grandfather bought the first steer at Newmarket, and Jimmy Matthews sold the last. But there’s more to this livestock legend.

Going native one step at a time

Jindi Farm Bush Foods

LESLIE Smith wanders through her farm at Jindivick in Gippsland with daughter Leila.