Assistant Treasure Josh Frydenberg released a discussion paper on the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) Rebate last Friday. Riverland Wine (RW) members and the broader community are well aware that wine taxes are complex and confusing. Policy reform is imperative for the wellbeing of the entire industry. This new discussion paper goes some way to simplifying the arguments; it specifically addresses the WET Rebate issues as distinct from the Volumetric Wine Tax arguments that have preoccupied RW members consistently over the past decade.RW members are urged to read the paper and contact Riverland Wine to discuss or clarify any concerns or questions arising.
The paper clearly sets out how wine is taxed in Australia. It provides a clear summary of the challenges faced when constructing a fair and best-fit tax policy. It summarises the various impacts of the current WET Rebate and outlines the future purpose and future directions for the WET Rebate.
It is envisioned this (blue) paper will stimulate public discussion on how the WET Rebate may be contributing to distortions in the production of wine. It also seeks feedback by September 11. The government’s broad objective is to achieve a better tax system that delivers taxes that are lower, simpler and fairer. This paper forms part of the Tax White Paper process leading into the release of a Green Paper later this year.