After fielding questions from the Australian beer industry in response to the Excise change announcements last week, the Craft Beer Industry Association (CBIA) has released a series of FAQs to help those still struggling with the new scheme. With information sourced direct from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) they thought it best to disperse them to a wider audience.

Question: How often can we apply for the refund?
Answer: The Excise Refund form can be lodged at any time after the Excise Return is lodged e.g. refunds could be done on a weekly basis if you lodge returns weekly. There is no restriction on when (or how frequently) a refund claim may be made. However claims will be limited, on an annual basis, to the $30,000 limit.

Question: Could a brewer claim back the entire $30 000 once they have paid that amount in excise or are they limited to claiming up to 60% of all excise paid till that date?
Answer: The entitlement is 60% of excise actually paid at that date, up to the $30 000 annual limit.

Question: Has the Refund Code that is used on the form changed?
Answer: As the refund form hasn’t been changed continue to use the code used for the predecessor (microbrewery) refund. That is‘MICO’.

Question: Does the excise refund apply to brew on premise (BOPS) operations that also pay excise?
Answer: BOPS do not qualify for the new refund. The legislation requires that an eligible brewery sell beer. BOPS charge for the use of their facilities. If they were actually making the beer themselves and selling it to customers they’d need a (different) manufacturer licence to make beer and would pay duty at the higher rates.

Those with further questions can contact the ATO or the CBIA.

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