The Liberal Government has enhanced the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) Rebate to better assist grape growing, winemaking, associated tourism and local jobs in regional Australia.
Federal Member for Pearce, Christian Porter, said the Government had undertaken extensive consultation with senior representatives from the wine industry, with specialist knowledge, to ensure the design of the WET Rebate scheme was right.
“I was pleased when Mr Larry Jorgensen from Wines of Western Australia was appointed as a consultative group representative as it ensured that the interests of our region were properly represented,” Mr Porter said.
“The changes to the WET Rebate, which tighten the eligibility criteria to prevent exploitation of the scheme, will be of significant benefit to our local wine industry.”
The key changes to the Government’s eligibility criteria to protect the integrity of the WET Rebate scheme include:
- eligible producers must own 85 per cent of the grapes at the crusher used to make the wine and maintain ownership through the wine making process;
- the Rebate is limited to branded packaged wine, in a container not exceeding 5 litres and branded with a registered trademark for domestic retail sale; and
- the Rebate claims must be better linked to the WET being paid.
The new eligibility criteria will apply from 1 July 2018.
The Rebate cap will be reduced from $500,000 to $350,000 effective from 1 July 2018, which is a year later, and a higher cap, than announced in the 2016 Budget.
The Government is also announcing a new Wine Tourism and Cellar Door grant scheme to provide up to $100,000 per annum to producers who exceed the $350,000 Rebate cap.
“The eligibility criteria to quality for the Wine Tourism and Cellar Door grant will be finalised following further consultation with the industry,” Mr Porter said.
“The Government listened carefully to industry and the package has now been tailored to ensure that the local wine producers, who build brands, invest in the community and create local jobs, gain the benefit of the Rebate and not the traders and major retailers.
“These reforms along with our Budget commitment of $50 million to promote Australian wine internationally and domestically will be a spring board for growth.”
The final WET Rebate reforms will be introduced into Parliament next year.