4 April 2019

Craft brewers better off

The Morrison Government has taken a massive step to assist the thriving craft brewing sector.

The Government also extended the tax exempt status of the Global Infrastructure Hub, in legislation which passed Parliament last night.

Support for craft brewers

The lower, draught beer excise rates will now be available to craft brewers. This is being done by extending the lower excise rate to draught beer in kegs of 8 litres or more.

Currently, the lower rate is open only to brewers who package their beer in larger kegs over 48 litres. From 1 July 2019 draught beer in smaller kegs will be taxed at that lower rate of excise.

This is good news for Australians who enjoy draught beer at pubs, clubs and other licensed premises. Craft brewers tend to produce smaller quantities of beer, and sell their beer in smaller kegs. They will benefit from the Government’s change in taxation, which will level the playing field with the large brewers.

The Government also reduced the taxation burden for small businesses that manufacture distilled spirits such as gin and whiskey, and other fermented beverages like non-traditional cider. By regulations made in November 2018 the alcohol excise refund scheme cap will increase on 1 July 2019 from $30,000 to $100,000 per financial year. This change will also benefit domestic brewers.

Extending the income tax exemptions for the Global Infrastructure Hub

The current income tax exempt status of the Global Infrastructure Hub has been extended for an additional four years until 1 July 2023. The Hub is a G20 initiative that was created during Australia’s 2014 Presidency to advance international efforts to lift infrastructure investment. It is located in Sydney and operates as a not-for-profit company under Australian law. Extending its income tax exempt status will ensure that financial contributions provided to the Hub by G20 members will not be taxed in Australia.

Miscellaneous amendments

The legislation passed on 3 April 2019 repeals a number of provisions, and makes a number of amendments to ensure the law operates in accordance with the policy intent.

The miscellaneous amendments include some changes to improve the operation of the First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS). Now, first home buyers can exchange contracts to purchase or construct their home as soon as they have received a determination from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). They will have a maximum of two weeks from the exchange of contracts to apply to the ATO for a release of their money.

These changes will provide greater flexibility in ensuring that first home buyers can still benefit from the Scheme, even if they enter into contracts prior to receiving their FHSSS money.

First home buyers will have 12 months from the date they request the ATO release their money to either buy or construct their first home, and will still be required to notify the ATO within 28 days of exchanging contracts.