As previously discussed in this forum, changes to the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) Rebate eligibility criteria and cap reduction were announced in December 2016 by the Turnbull Government. These reforms received assent on 23 August 2017 and bring significant changes to the entitlement to the WET producer rebate.
In summary, the Treasury Laws Amendments (2017 Measures No 4) Bill 2017 (the Bill) amends the New Tax System Act 1999 (WET Act) to:
- reduce the WET rebate cap from $500,000 to $350,000;
- narrow the definition of persons entitled to WET producer rebates;
- restrict the WET rebate to the ownership of source products for wine;
- impose requirements on the labelling and packaging of wines, including the need for wine containers to be branded with a trade mark; and
- tighten the associated producer rebate rule.
The WET producer rebate amendments take effect from 1 July 2018, but amendments to the associated producers rule apply from 23 August 2017.
The Explanatory Memorandum of the Bill clarifies that the Bill intends to “improve the integrity of the WET producer rebate to better target the rebate so it supports wine producers who build brands, invest in regional communities and create local jobs”.
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