IBA welcomes changes to excise payment

The Independent Brewers Association has welcomed changes to the payment schedule for small brewers, which will be announced in tonight’s federal budget.

The Treasurer pre-announced the changes in a press release last week outlining budget measures designed to support small businesses.

Among measures to align excise and other reporting requirements, the government announced that businesses with annual sales of less than $50 million will now be able to file and pay excise and customs duties. equivalents on a quarterly basis, starting July 1, 2023.

The IBA described the change in payment schedules as significant for brewers and follows the industry association’s response to the federal government’s deregulation task force in August last year.

The association requested this change as well as a deferred settlement for brewers who currently do not pay excise because they are under the $350,000 cap to allow them to provide an annual return.

In a statement released yesterday, the IBA said it hoped ‘this will be the first of further announcements regarding improvements to the excise administration process’.

Tonight’s budget is also expected to announce a temporary reduction in excise duty on cask beer following significant lobbying from the Brewers Association, representing Lion, Coopers and CUB, and the Australian Hotels Association.

The proposed move is being considered to reduce the cost of a schooner by 30¢, with the Brewers Association arguing that the cost to government would be $153 million in 2022-23.

Since the proposed decision is limited to draft beer, it should benefit hotels, which have not committed to passing on the price reduction, and drinking establishments belonging to the brewery.

However, the move has also been criticized as ineffective and ‘gender biased’, with the Australia Institute saying the money would be better spent on targeted aid to small restaurants and bars, support for live music or cuts on food and drink for all. customers.

The IBA said that while it “still sees some controversy around the proposed 50% drawdown tax reduction, we believe this will benefit our members who supply cask products”.

“As the reduction relates to beer intended for on-premises consumption, we can only hope that the promised benefit to the hospital industry and consumers will materialize,” the IBA statement said.

These measures follow the increase in the excise rebate to $350,000 in last year’s budget.

Update 03/30/2022: Despite suggestions that there would be a reduction in excise duty on cask beer, this has not happened.

The Australian Hotels Association, Clubs Australia and the Brewers Association had been pushing for change, suggesting the keg tax be reduced from $70 to $35.

However, the Budget introduced measures allowing places offering growlers to benefit from a tax exemption of up to 10,000 liters per year.

The IBA’s Kylie Lethbridge explained that the IBA had not been part of the lobby in favor of lowering taxes on draft beer, but pointed to other victories for independent beer.

“The IBA was reluctant to endorse the draft tax reduction as it may not have had a positive impact for our members, but we absolutely welcome the relief given to growlers and the changes to the excise framework.

“We have been very fortunate in that the last two federal budgets have provided direct support to the independent beer sector, which we believe is recognition of the important contribution we make to the economy. national. The government continues to “back a winner”, so we are very grateful for their continued support. »

While much of the industry may be disappointed with this decision, some organizations have welcomed it.

The Alcohol Research and Education Foundation said that “strong community advocacy made common sense prevail, the health of our families and our community prioritizing corporate tax cuts. ‘alcohol”.

According to FARE, the tax cuts were a “trick” and “expensive and ineffective”, as well as being strongly opposed by more than 80 health and community leaders and organisations.

He accused the industry of “attempting to use pandemic cover to get handouts on top of their billion dollar profits.”

“FARE strongly opposes any move to reduce taxes for alcohol companies and will continue to advocate with policy makers to prioritize the health and wellbeing of Australians,” it said. he declares.

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