Little cheer for
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has launched an investigation into the possible exploitation of the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET).
The ATO believes there are contrived arrangements where related entities are working together to claim additional WET producer rebates to which they are not entitled.
Second Commissioner at the ATO, Bruce Quigley said the ATO was seeing people in the industry collude to exploit the rebate and share the benefit through manipulating prices charged for grapes, wine or services.
"We believe these arrangements breach the anti-avoidance provisions of the GST Act. They appear to be against the intent of the rebate, which is to assist small wine producers," Mr Quigley said.
“The recent favourable decision in the case of SJ Buller Pty Ltd and the Commissioner of Taxation supported the ATO’s view of the law and our continued need to focus on these types of WET arrangements.”
He said buyers and suppliers should be cautious if they received, or were asked to create, an invoice relating to an entity they did not have an agreement with or were not dealing with.
“Some cases are already being reviewed to see whether participants should be subject to criminal sanctions,” Mr Quigley said.
“People should review their taxation arrangements, seek advice if required and, where necessary, make early contact with the ATO to make voluntary disclosures.”
He said anyone who had participated in these arrangements, and made a voluntary disclosure before they are contacted by the ATO, would be entitled to a reduction in penalties.
Edition 384, 22 October 2013