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  • What attracts our attention – illicit alcohol

    We have increased our focus on activities where alcohol products are reaching retailers and consumers without the required excise or customs duty being paid. This is what we mean by 'illicit alcohol'.

    We publish information on the activities that attract our attention to:

    • help you get things right
    • remain transparent with taxpayers
    • help keep a level playing field.

    We also want to make sure:

    • the system remains fair for businesses doing the right thing
    • the community isn't deprived of vital funds needed to support our economy and essential services.

    The following activities are also the main contributors to the estimated 2017–18 Alcohol tax gap (excise and customs duties) of $596 million, or 9.6% of the total theoretical tax payable.

    If you want to report suspected tax evasion to us, you can use our confidential reporting process.

    On this page:

    What attracts our attention

    There are several activities involving excisable alcohol that attract our attention because they are offences under the Excise Act 1901 (Excise Act) where substantial consequences and penalties may apply.

    Beer, spirits and other excisable beverages are all excisable alcohol products and are generally subject to excise duty if you manufacture or produce them in Australia. Customs duty must be paid on equivalent imported alcohol products - these are known as excise equivalent goods (EEGs).

    Some of the activities that attract our attention are:

    We also provide information on:

    Taxpayer Alert TA 2021/1 – Retail sale of illicit alcohol

    We have also published Taxpayer Alert TA 2021/1 – Retail sale of illicit alcohol, which focuses on arrangements where alcohol retailers are knowingly or recklessly purchasing illicit alcohol for the purposes of resale. Our aim is to share our concerns early to help businesses make informed decisions about their tax affairs.

    Find out about:

    See also:

    Last modified: 29 Jul 2021QC 63184