14 February 2019
Media Release - #2019015, 2019

Coalition helping craft brewers and enhancing superannuation system

The Morrison Government is giving more support to craft brewers, increasing flexibility for self-managed superannuation funds and extending the tax exempt status of the Global Infrastructure Hub.

These changes are included in two Bills introduced today: Treasury Laws Amendment (2019 Measures No. 1) Bill 2019 and the Excise Tariff Amendment (Supporting Craft Brewers) Bill 2019.

Currently, larger families with more than four members must either create two SMSFs or small APRA funds, adding to their costs or place their superannuation savings in a large fund, which limits their choice and flexibility.

These Bills assist craft brewers by extending the concessional draught beer excise rates to kegs of 8 litres or more, from 1 July 2019.

Currently, draught beer sold at pubs, clubs and other licensed venues from kegs exceeding 48 litres is taxed at lower rates compared with beer sold from smaller kegs. Extending the concessional draught beer excise rates to kegs of 8 litres or more will allow craft brewers producing smaller quantities of beer to benefit from the lower rates. This measure levels the playing field between small brewers and large brewers.

The Bills implement one component of the Government’s announcement in the 2018-19 Budget to extend support to craft brewers and distillers.

The other component of this measure was to increase the alcohol excise refund scheme cap from $30,000 to $100,000 per financial year for domestic brewers, distillers and producers of other fermented beverages such as non-traditional cider. The change to the excise refund cap has been implemented through an amendment to the Excise Regulation. The new regulation was approved in November 2018, and will apply from 1 July 2019. The Morrison Government recognises the contribution made to our local and regional economies by small businesses like artesan distillers and brewers.

Extending the income tax exemptions for the Global Infrastructure Hub

The Bill will also extend the current income tax exempt status of the Global Infrastructure Hub 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 Bill also includes miscellaneous amendments to legislation in the Treasury portfolio and repeals inoperative provisions, removes administrative inefficiencies and ensures the law operates in accordance with the policy intent.

The miscellaneous amendments include some legislative changes to improve the operation of the First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS). Under the changes, 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.