The Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) legislation changes were agreed by the Australian Parliament on 17 August 2017 and are now law, known as theTreasury Laws Amendment (2017 Measure No.4) Act 2017. Winemakers who currently access the rebate, or sell grapes to a wine producer who receives the rebate, will need to understand the implications of the changes.
Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) is working with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to develop guidance on the key changes before the next vintage.
ATO Support for Australian winemakers who plan to claim the WET Rebate is available via the following links:
Website - www.ato.gov.au
New Measures Guidance - email@example.com
General WET Guidance - firstname.lastname@example.org
WFA and South Australia Wine Industry Association (SAWIA) have held several seminars with the ATO and Wine Australia as guest speakers, free of charge, in the following regions.
There is still one more seminar in Coonawarra for those that wish to register:
There is no charge to attend this event but registration is required
Regions already visited
Please complete the online registration for Coonawarra or contact Deirdre Doyle at SAWIA Office on 08 8222 9277 or email@example.com
The ATO will provide guidance on key issues arising from the legislative changes, including
Demonstrating proof of grape ownership
To be eligible to claim the WET rebate, ownership of the grapes will mean that some form of contract must be in place at the weighbridge (prior to crushing). This may take the form of an exchange of letters, but a more formal contract is likely to provide more surety.
The ATO will require record keeping to demonstrate ownership of the grapes from the crusher through to the final product.
Implications for contractual arrangements
Retention of title clauses may mean that ownership does not pass to the grape purchaser at the weighbridge. Therefore, such clauses may not satisfy WET eligibility requirements.
Distributor model implications
Some distribution models will require different payment forms. For example, if a producer sells to a distributer, they can quote, but if that distributer on-sells to a further distributer, no rebate will be available, but WET will be payable.
Although the intention in the legislation is for ‘parent’ trademarks to cover all the associated trademarks for the eligibility provisions, this needs to be clarified in the ATO guidance.
The transitional provisions are complex and require clear guidance on the treatment of existing bottled product and that in barrels, as well as the differences applying to table and fortified products.
In addition, Wine Australia has agreed to provide an information briefing on the grant components of the $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package and the $10 million Wine Tourism and Cellar Door Grant program.
There are three grants under the Package:
For more information on the $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package see:
All of these issues have very important implications and attendance is a must for all businesses.