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When you have to pay WET

Explains at what stage you pay wine equalisation tax (WET) and who doesn't have to pay WET.

Last updated 10 July 2019

If you make wine, import wine into Australia or sell it by wholesale, you normally have to pay WET. It's a once-off tax on the value of the wine and applies when you sell or deal with wine:

With the exception of imports, WET is only payable if you are registered or required to be registered for GST. It is designed to tax the last wholesale sale of wine in Australia, usually this is a sale from a wholesaler to a retailer.

If you import wine, WET is payable directly to the Department of Home AffairsExternal Link at the time of importation.

Transactions are exempt from WET when:

  • the transaction happens 'under quote' (the buyer quotes their ABN to the seller in the approved form)    
    • this typically happens when there is an earlier wholesale transaction, such as between a producer and distributor, before the wine reaches the retailer
  • the wine is GST-free – for example, when it's being exported and WET has not already been paid on the wine.

Watch the below webinar for more information on how the WET system works.

Media: WET: Back to Basics Link (Duration: 57:01)

WET is payable on wholesale sales. Most commonly, these are sales to businesses that will then sell the wine by retail.

Work out if you have to pay WET when you make, import or sell wine in Australia.

If WET hasn't already been paid, it's payable on any wine that you use yourself.

WET is payable on wine imported into Australia.

A wine transaction that is taxable is exempt from WET if it is a GST-free supply or if the purchaser quoted their ABN.