ato logo
Search Suggestion:

Claiming a remission for excisable alcohol

How to claim a remission of your alcohol excise duty liability in certain situations.

Last updated 14 May 2023

Who can claim a remission

You may be entitled to claim a remission of the excise duty you would have had to pay for your goods, where you have not paid excise duty on them and one of the following apply:

You need to apply to us to claim a remission, unless it is an automatic remission. An automatic remission is an excise remission that does not require you to submit an application.

You need to keep specific records if you claim a remission for excisable alcohol. This is a legal requirement.

Claiming a remission

You apply to claim a remission through the Excise remission form.

Goods you can claim a remission for

You can claim a remission for excisable goods that haven't been delivered into the Australian domestic market because they:

  • become unfit for human consumption
  • are no longer suitable for sale
  • are damaged, lost or destroyed while underbond.

If excisable goods were lost completely (for example, during the production process) a remission application is not required. It is instead treated as an automatic remission.

If you distil spirits, you can also claim a remission for feints obtained during the distillation process that you will destroy. Feints are an output of the distillation process commonly referred to as heads and tails. They do contain alcohol and are excisable.

You need permission from us to destroy them.

If you applied for a licence to distil spirits, we will generally issue you an ongoing permission to destroy feints. This is so you don't need to apply for a remission each time you want to destroy feints.

Start of example

Example: claiming a remission for out-of-date goods

A pallet of underbond pre-mixed vodka and orange product has reached its use-by date and is no longer suitable for sale. The vodka and orange product is still stored in the excise-licensed premises and has not had excise duty paid on it.

The distiller applies to us for a remission of duty on the out-of-date goods. After they receive approval from the ATO, the distiller must:

  • destroy the goods
  • keep a record of the destruction.
End of example

For excisable goods that become unfit for human consumption after you have paid excise duty on them, you may be able to claim an excise refund.

Remission for feints and permission to destroy them

To apply for a remission for feints and permission to destroy them, phone us on 1300 137 290.

If we approve your application:

  • we'll remit your existing excise duty liability
  • you can legally destroy or dispose of the goods.

If you need to destroy feints on an ongoing basis, you can get continuing approval from us.

Destroying excisable goods subject to remission

Off-site destruction of excisable goods requires a movement permission from us. However, if you indicate off-site destruction in your remission application, we will give permission to move the goods off-site as part of the remission approval.

You must keep detailed records of the goods you destroy because we may ask to see these records.

Once a remission has been approved and the goods have been destroyed, you won't have to pay any excise duty on them.

Excise remission scheme for manufacturers of alcoholic beverages

From 1 July 2021 eligible alcohol manufacturers can receive a full (100%) automatic remission of excise duty on alcoholic beverages they manufacture, up to a maximum of $350,000 per financial year.

This applies to alcoholic beverages that you enter for home consumption on or after 1 July 2021.

For more information, see Remission scheme for alcohol manufacturers.

Automatic remission on certain excisable goods

If you hold an excise manufacturer licence, excise storage licence or periodic settlement permission (PSP) you can supply some excisable goods, excise duty unpaid, to certain purchasers. The goods you supply will be excise duty unpaid as you get an automatic remission of the excise duty.

For more information on who you can supply excise duty unpaid goods to, see Supplying excisable alcohol under an automatic remission.

Limited automatic remission on certain quantities of beer

You don't need our permission to destroy beer you manufacture that is damaged or not fit for consumption if:

  • you destroy less than (or equal to) 125 litres of alcohol (LALs) in a quarterly period
  • the goods are underbond
  • you haven't paid excise duty on them.

However, you need to keep detailed records of the goods you destroy. We may ask to see these records.

If you destroy more than 125 LALs in a quarterly period, you need to ask for permission from us first by lodging an Excise remission application.