Wine equalisation tax reforms – 2018 SA Agribusiness Day

The recent reforms to the wine equalisation tax (WET) system, are ‘root and branch’ reforms that will have a significant impact on most businesses in the wine industry, even going so far as to impact on the way certain wines are made.

These rules, now in effect for the 2018 vintage, are complex, with a number of retrospective issues to consider as well as transitional provisions to be aware of.

Here we speak with Mathew Brittingham CTA, who will present the session ‘Wine equalisation tax – understanding the impact to wine businesses of the new WET reforms’ at the upcoming SA Agribusiness Day, about some of the issues facing South Australian producers and their advisers.

Mathew told us: “There are a number of key issues advisers need to be aware of in relation to these reforms and how they impact wine businesses. In particular, some clients may need to restructure their arrangements to ensure they remain eligible to claim producer rebates, and for those clients who are eligible, how the transitional provisions in respect of 2018 and earlier vintages work. There are also some complexities with the new quoting system, which will affect the administrative practices of wine businesses, as will the WET credit system.”

Mathew Brittingham CTA

“There are a number of blind spots in this area that advisers need to be cautious of. Of particular note is that winemakers will not be able to pool their grapes or wines with other winemakers and still be eligible to claim WET rebates on that wine. In addition, grape supply contracts will need to be revisited as grapes purchased by winemakers on a retention title basis will also prevent winemakers from claiming producer rebates."

“I hope delegates will come away from my session armed with the tools required to advise their clients as to what alterations they need to make to their businesses to ensure they remain eligible to claim producer rebates. In addition, I’ll be covering the measures they need to put into place with their clients’ quotation systems and forms so that their clients adhere with the new quoting requirements, and avoid having to potentially repay hundreds of thousands of dollars to the ATO.”

Affiliated with the Tax Institute for more than a decade, Mathew is a Partner in Finlaysons Tax and Revenue team and leads the Family Business and Private Wealth practice. Advising a range of local, national and international clients on state and federal taxes, his expertise includes international tax, tax avoidance, corporate restructures, finance transactions and consolidations. Mathew also has a particular interest in the wine equalisation tax, having acted for a vast variety of winemakers, suppliers and advisers to the wine industry across all wine regions in Australia. He holds a Master of Taxation degree from Sydney University and is a Chartered Tax Adviser with the Tax Institute.

Following Mathew’s session and closing the day, the ATO’s Jim Robinson and Tim Sporne will present the session, ‘The ATO on primary production issues in practice’, which will look at current issues with the WET and a range of other topics.

The day opens with a banking and finance update that will examine what the agribusiness sector is doing and what banks are looking for when clients seek finance. The program will also explore and discuss the tax issues faced by agribusiness clients through their lifecycle, including managing income and expenditure, the application of GST and stamp duty, and restructuring at maturity.

Find out more about the program on our website and join us on 23 March 2018 at the Adelaide Convention Centre.


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