Throwing cold water on a WET loophole

The Federal Government has moved to end a scam in the wine industry. It’s introduced legislation intended to close a loophole which has led to wine producers claiming WET rebates they aren’t entitled to.

The WET (Wine Equalisation Tax) rebate allows producers to claim a refund of WET tax up to $500,000 a year. New Zealanders are also permitted the rebate. But when the same wine passes through more than one set of hands on its way to the market, multiple rebates have been claimed.

The legislation will prevent a producer claiming a rebate for wine used in manufacture, if that same wine has already been subject to a rebate. “This is a really significant move because it takes away the opportunity that currently exists for multiple rebates to be claimed on the same quantity of wine,” says Winemakers Federation of Australia chief executive Paul Evans. “This clearly was never intended when the rebate was introduced. These amendments will ensure the system works as intended.”

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