In 2010-11 we collected $25.8 billion in excise, an increase of 5.4% ($24.4 billion) from 2009-10.
This increase in collections can be attributed to two main factors, an increased demand for diesel from the mining industry and a 25% increase in the duty rate for tobacco, which came into effect from April 2010.
We continued to work with major Excise payers across alcohol, petroleum and tobacco sectors to ensure their ongoing compliance. This has proven effective particularly with the ongoing use of our client relationship managers.
We assisted taxpayers affected by the natural disasters in 2011 to meet their excise equivalent goods obligations through supervised destruction of flood damaged dutiable tobacco and other product. This enabled remissions of duty in excess of $110 million.
From active compliance activities, on both excise revenue and excise transfers, we raised total liabilities (including penalties and interest) of $97 million and an estimated $16 million in collections from liabilities raised both in the current and prior years.
During 2010-11 we seized 31 tonne of illicit tobacco, had two successful tobacco related prosecutions and referred another four matters to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecution.
The Australian National Audit Office undertook reviews of our administration of the Fuel Tax Credit scheme, the Wine Equalisation Tax and the Wine Equalisation Tax rebate. Overall the findings were positive.
Excise equivalent goods
Following on from a government announcement in November 2009, we took responsibility for the excise equivalent goods in 2010-11 from Australian Customs and Border Protection Service. The implementation was completed successfully. Following consultation with industry our administrative system provides claimants with a single entry for all their customs and excise obligations, which will result in reduced costs of compliance.
Positive feedback was received from all industry representatives on both the implementation and the ATO's approach to the integration of the administration.
In 2010-11 we conducted 178 Excise equivalent goods warehouse checks which resulted in one voluntary disclosure of approximately $28,000, one infringement notice issued, and 13 licencing issues on which advice was provided.
We continued to work with industry on excise administration through our forums, such as the Fuel Schemes Advisory Forum, Alcohol Consultative Forum, the Tobacco Industry Forum and the Petroleum Corporate Consultative Forum. The positive benefits are early identification of issues and risks, and the co-design of treatment strategies and products.
During the year the government announced a proposal regarding the taxation of alternative fuels, due to commence on 1 December 2011. These consultative forums enabled us to liaise with industry on implementing the new taxation arrangements for gaseous fuels.
Administered program - fuel tax credits
This year we worked with industry:
- to finalise a strategy to clarify the eligibility of certain road maintenance activities
- to develop a determination that gives clients more options to calculate their fuel tax credit entitlement, particularly where they have many vehicles or pieces of equipment.
Following a review, we discovered many claimants that had registered for fuel tax credit but never claimed. We wrote to more than 26,000 about their registration and as a result we removed the fuel tax credit registration for 15,100.
During the year we identified an issue with incorrect entities claiming fuel tax credits on bunker fuel used in the shipping industry. We conducted a marketing and education strategy which resulted in some voluntary disclosures with one adjustment of approximately $40 million.
For information on our fuel tax credits scheme, product stewardship waste (oil) scheme and cleaner fuel grants scheme see administered programs.