06 - PAYMENT OF DUTY
This chapter deals with:
- when duty is payable
- when duty is payable under periodic settlement
- when duty is payable under prepayment of excise duty
- when duty is not payable
- how to work out the amount of duty you're liable to pay, including tariff proposals and quotas
- whether you have to account for
leaf and excisable tobacco products
- how to get a Periodic settlement permission (PSP)
- what your PSP will include
- what to do to deliver tobacco products into the Australian domestic market
- how to lodge excise returns and pay excise duty
- what to do if you have made an error on your excise return, and
- penalties that can apply to offences in relation to payment of duty.
Excise duty is imposed at the time of manufacture of
excisable tobacco products
However, the duty is not required to be paid at the time of manufacture.
This chapter focuses on the payment of duty and the factors that influence when and how much duty is payable.
To ensure the duty is ultimately acquitted, excisable tobacco products remain subject to our control until they are
The liability for duty, imposed at the time of manufacture, can be acquitted by:
- into the Australian domestic market
- for export to a place outside Australia.
Alternatively the liability can be transferred with the goods if they are sold while
- payment of the duty
- export of the goods
- use in the manufacture of other excisable goods.
6.3 POLICY AND PRACTICE
6.3.1 WHEN IS DUTY PAYABLE?
When the liability for duty becomes payable depends on how authority is given to deliver the excisable tobacco products into the Australian domestic market. Authority to deliver excisable tobacco products into the Australian domestic market can be given on a continuing basis, known as a periodic settlement permission (PSP),
or on an ad hoc basis, known as prepayment of duty.
6.3.2 WHEN IS DUTY PAYABLE UNDER PERIODIC SETTLEMENT?
Under a periodic settlement permission the duty is paid
the excisable tobacco products are delivered into the Australian domestic market
To understand when the duty is paid in the case of periodic settlement requires an understanding of what the permission is and what your obligations are under such permission.
A PSP allows you to report deliveries and to pay duty on a periodic basis after the goods have been delivered into the Australian domestic market.
Periodic settlement is the most common arrangement for the delivery of goods into the Australian domestic market.
Under a PSP, you must:
- lodge an
on the due date specified in your PSP. The return details the goods you have delivered into the Australian domestic market during the settlement period, and
- pay the duty on the goods you have delivered within the settlement period on the due date specified.
||You do not need to have an excise licence to have a PSP.|
Buy Me Pty Ltd does not hold an excise licence. A licensed manufacturer manufactures excisable tobacco products for Buy Me under contract. Under the terms of the contract, Buy Me has title to the goods from the time of manufacture and will pay the excise duty.
Buy Me may be granted a PSP.
The PSP is for the period Monday to Sunday. Therefore, Buy Me is able to arrange delivery of excisable tobacco products into the Australian domestic market and defer payment of excise duty, on those goods, until after the end of period. On the first working day after the end of the period (i.e. Monday, unless it is a public holiday in which case it will be due on Tuesday) Buy Me must lodge an excise return for any excisable tobacco products delivered during the period and pay the excise duty owing on those goods.
We will send Buy Me written confirmation, after the excise return has been processed.|
6.3.3 WHEN IS DUTY PAYABLE UNDER PREPAYMENT OF EXCISE DUTY?
Under prepayment, the duty is paid
the excisable tobacco products are delivered into the Australian domestic market.
If you do not hold a PSP, you must receive a
from us before you are allowed to deliver the excisable tobacco products into the Australian domestic market. We require you to pay any applicable duty before we give you a
. To request a
you need to lodge an excise return (NAT4285).
||That is, you must:
- lodge an excise return
- pay the relevant duty, and
- receive a
|You must not deliver excisable tobacco products into the Australian domestic market before receiving the
6.3.4 WHEN IS DUTY NOT PAYABLE?
There are circumstances in which no duty will be payable. These include where:
- goods are exported
- a remission circumstance applies, or
- excisable tobacco products that are subject to our control are used in the manufacture of other excisable tobacco products.
6.3.5 HOW DO I WORK OUT THE AMOUNT OF DUTY TO PAY?
To work out how much duty you need to pay you will need to know the:
- classification of the excisable tobacco products
- quantity of the excisable tobacco products you deliver into the Australian domestic market, and
- rate of duty on the excisable tobacco products.
Classification of excisable tobacco products
The Schedule to the Excise Tariff Act lists those goods that, if manufactured in Australia, are subject to excise. The table also contains the rate of duty applicable to the goods. For the excisable tobacco products the relevant part of the table is as follows:
Rate of duty as at 1 August 2008. For the current rates of duty, refer to the Schedule under Excise Tariff Working Pages on our website.
Tobacco, cigars and cigarettes are all classified to item 5 but only cigars and cigarettes are in stick form so, if the individual sticks do not exceed 0.8 grams in weight of tobacco (i.e. not including filters or paper), they are classified to subitem 5.1. Products such as cigars and cigarettes with more than 0.8 grams of tobacco, pipe tobacco, ready rubbed tobacco and snuff are classified to subitem 5.5.
Description of goods||
Rate of Duty
Tobacco, cigars, cigarettes and snuff||
In stick form not exceeding in weight 0.8 grams per stick actual tobacco content||
$0.25450* per stick
$318.14* per kilogram of tobacco content
Quantity of excisable tobacco products
Duty for excisable tobacco products is levied on the quantity of the goods themselves.
Tobacco quantity is measured in sticks (e.g. cigarettes) or kilograms of tobacco content which includes any thing (including moisture and other additives) added to the tobacco leaf during manufacturing or processing
When calculating the quantity of tobacco content in kilograms you should calculate to two decimal places.
Rate of duty on excisable tobacco products
The rate of duty is set in the table in the Schedule to the Excise Tariff Act. The rates of duty on excisable tobacco products are subject to change. They are indexed twice a year in accordance with increases in the CPI (usually on 1 February and 1 August).
For ease of reference we provide a 'working tariff', incorporating indexation changes, on our website.
The rate of duty you use is the rate contained in the working tariff for the subitem. It will also depend on whether you have a PSP. If you do it is the rate applicable at the time you deliver the excisable tobacco products into the Australian domestic market. If you do not have a PSP, then it is the rate applicable at the time you make the pre-payment.
When goods are delivered into the Australian domestic market under a PSP, the rate of duty that applies is the rate in force at the time the goods are delivered.
On 1 August 2008 a manufacturer delivers cigarettes under its PSP.
The cigarettes are classified to subitem 5.1 of the Excise tariff.
The rate of duty that applies is the rate in force on 1 August 2008 - $0.25450 per stick. |
When goods are delivered into the Australian domestic market under a prepayment, the rate that applies is the rate in force at the time payment is made.
On 31 July 2008 a manufacturer that does not hold a PSP prepays duty for the delivery of cigarettes. The cigarettes are delivered on 4 August 2008.
The cigarettes are classified to subitem 5.1 of the Excise tariff.
The rate of duty that applies is the rate in force on 31 July 2008 - $0.24757 per stick.|
The amount of duty payable is then calculated by multiplying the quantity of excisable tobacco products by the applicable rate of duty.|
What happens if the rate changes during my settlement period?
If the rates of duty change within your settlement period, you may lodge two excise returns or, alternatively, include separate lines for the same product on one return; that is:
10,000 cigarettes are delivered into the Australian domestic market on 4 August 2008.
The cigarettes are classified to subitem 5.1 of the Excise tariff and have a duty rate of $0.25450 per stick.
Therefore, the duty payable is 10,000 sticks x $0.25450 = $2545.00|
- one return or line for goods delivered under the old rates, and
- one return or line for goods delivered under the new rates.
How can the rate change?
In addition to indexation, as described above, the applicable rate of excise duty can also be affected by:
The rate of duty for tobacco in stick form not exceeding 0.8 g per stick actual tobacco content increases on and from 1
August 2008 (a Friday) from $0.24757 to $0.25450 per stick.
Sovereign Tobacco holds an excise storage licence and a PSP specifying a weekly settlement period commencing Monday.
Sovereign Tobacco delivers into the Australian domestic market 750,000 cigarettes on Thursday 31
July and 3,000,000 cigarettes on Friday 1 August.
In its excise return for Monday 4 August, Sovereign Tobacco uses separate line entries for product delivered at the old rate and at the new rate:
|Line||Tariff item||Quantity ||Units||Duty rate||Excise amount
Changes to the Excise Tariff Act
Where the Government decides to change the rate of excise applying to certain excisable goods, or to start applying excise to certain goods or stop applying excise to certain goods this requires an amendment to the Excise Tariff Act. The Government normally notifies the intention to do this with a tariff proposal.
- changes to the Excise Tariff Act (including tariff proposals), or
Quotas are a means of ensuring that people cannot gain an advantage by anticipating rises in excise rates and then delivering more excisable tobacco products than they would normally. Effectively they restrict the quantity of excisable tobacco products you can deliver into the Australian domestic market at the existing excise rate. If you exceed your quota for the period you will need to pay the duty at the new rate.
Where we believe that persons are anticipating an increase in the rate of duty, and as a result the clearances of excisable tobacco products in a particular period is likely to be greater than it otherwise would be, we will publish a notice in the Commonwealth
. This notice will state that a particular period is a 'declared period'.
The 'declared period' is the period during which quotas will operate. To establish what your quota is we will consider the amounts of your past deliveries.
Once we have established your quota we will give you a written quota order that specifies the maximum level (which can be nil)
of excisable tobacco products that you can deliver into the Australian domestic market at the applicable excise rate in force during the declared period.
If at anytime during the declared period you exceed your quota you are required to pay the duty on the excess goods at the existing rate, and in addition we may require you to pay a security, by cash deposit, equal to the duty on the excess goods.
Tariff proposals are a means of changing the Excise Tariff (rates can be adjusted up or down; products can be added or removed) so that it is effective from the time it is proposed rather than after the enactment of an Excise Tariff Amendment Act. Most of the processes relate to Parliamentary procedures however there are specific provisions in the Excise Act that provide for the making of tariff proposals when Parliament is not sitting.
Effectively changes to the Excise Tariff can be notified in the Parliament or, if the Parliament is not sitting, by notice in the Gazette. We then apply the proposal as if it is law.
The tariff proposal is required to be validated by an Act within 12 months giving retrospective effect to the date of the proposal.
You cannot commence proceedings against us for any action taken to collect the amount set by the tariff proposal during the periods specified in
of the Excise Act.
Effectively this means you need to pay in line with a tariff proposal. Any increases in rates or introduction of new products through a tariff proposal technically does not impose excise but we will protect the revenue by collecting amounts in line with the proposal.
If an amending Act validating the changes outlined within the tariff proposal is not passed within the prescribed periods, then any additional amounts will be refunded to you.|
At the end of the declared period we will reconcile your deliveries with your quota. If you delivered into the Australian domestic market more than your quota, then the duty for the amount in excess of the quota is calculated at the rate in force the day after the declared period ends. Therefore if the rate has gone up you will pay the higher rate of duty on the amount in excess of your quota.
We can vary or revoke a quota order any time before the end of the declared period or 60 days after the making of the quota order whichever occurs last.
|If you have a periodic settlement permission and you have exceeded your quota then the PSP stops being the authority for you to deliver goods during the declared period.
This means you will need to prepay the duty on any further deliveries into the Australian domestic market during the declared period. |
6.3.6 WHAT DO I DO IF I HAVE A DISPUTE AS TO THE DUTY?
If you dispute:
you may deposit with us the amount of duty demanded. (These disputes do
apply to changes brought about by a tariff proposal.)
- the amount of duty
- the rate of duty, or
- the liability of goods to duty (for example, whether the goods are excisable)
Once the goods have been properly entered on an excise return, you will be entitled to delivery of the goods.
The deposit you made will be the proper duty unless you commence an action against us, within 6 months after you make the deposit, and that action is determined in your favour.
If any action is determined in your favour, any excess of the deposit over the proper duty will be refunded to you along with payment of interest, calculated at 5%.
These provisions do not apply in cases where we are of the opinion that any evasion of the excise duty under the Excise Act has been committed or attempted.
|For more information on tariff proposals see
- How do I work out the amount of duty to pay?|
6.3.7 DO I HAVE TO ACCOUNT FOR TOBACCO LEAF AND EXCISABLE TOBACCO PRODUCTS?
Yes, where you have or had possession, custody or control of any tobacco leaf
and/or excisable tobacco products
(subject to our control) you have to be able to satisfactorily account for them.
If we ask you to account for tobacco leaf or excisable tobacco products, and you cannot satisfactorily do so, then you may be required to pay an amount equal to the duty.
If we require this payment you will be given a written demand. The amount you are required to pay is calculated using the rate of duty in force on the day the demand is made.
When requested to account for goods you must be able to show that:
Goods will not have been accounted for satisfactorily just because they were:
- the goods are still under
- duty has been paid
- duty was not payable (for example, where a remission applied), or
- the goods have otherwise been dealt with in accordance with the law (for example, moved under a movement permission).
We may also demand payment from you if you have failed to keep excisable tobacco products safely (for example, if you have a break-in and a theft occurs, you will be required to pay an amount equal to the duty that would have applied to the excisable tobacco products that have been stolen).
Our decision to demand payment is a reviewable decision.
- given away for promotional purposes
- stolen from licensed premises,
- delivered into the Australian domestic market under the mistaken belief that they were not excisable.
In determining whether you have accounted for the excisable tobacco products, we may allow you to offset any stock shortages and surpluses.
|For information about your review rights refer to
- Reviews and objections
A licensed distributor of tobacco products is asked to account for their excisable tobacco products. They carry out a stocktake and there is a surplus of 4000 sticks of Brand X and a shortage of 10000 sticks of Brand Y.
We will allow the distributor to offset the surplus and shortage. Therefore, there are 6000 sticks that have not been accounted for.
A demand will be issued for an amount equal to the excise duty payable on the 6000 sticks.
The licence holder corrects book stock to take up the surplus floor stock of 4000 sticks and, when the demand is paid, write off the shortage of 10000 sticks. |
A licensed distributor of tobacco products is asked to account for their excisable tobacco products. They carry out a stocktake and there is a surplus of 12500 sticks of Brand A and a shortage of 5000 sticks of Brand B.
We will allow the distributor to offset the surplus and shortage. Therefore, there are no sticks that have not been accounted for but there is a surplus of 7500 sticks.
The licence holder corrects book stock to take up the surplus floor stock of 12500 sticks and write off the shortage of 5000 sticks. |
If you have a storage licence and stock excisable alcoholic goods and tobacco products, you may only offset tobacco against tobacco and alcohol against alcohol. |
6.4.1 HOW DO I GET A PSP?
If you apply for a manufacturer or storage licence, you can use your application form to indicate whether you intend to pay excise duty either periodically or prior to delivery. You do not need to complete a separate PSP application.
If you do not have a licence, or you originally chose not to pay excise duty periodically, contact us and provide us in writing with your:
If we approve your PSP, we will notify you in writing within seven days of receiving your request.
- licence details (if you have one), and
- reasons for applying for a PSP.
A request to add or delete delivery establishments from a PSP is treated as if it were a request for a new permission. However, your PSP number will remain unchanged.
We may also:
||A PSP is not transferable to another person and remains in force until revoked. |
Failure to comply with a condition may result in the cancellation of the PSP.
In such an instance, we would take into account a variety of factors, including your payment history.
A decision to refuse or to cancel a PSP is not a reviewable decision.
- refuse to grant a PSP
- impose conditions on a PSP, or
- cancel a PSP.
For information about your review rights refer to
- Reviews and objections
|For more information about PSPs, contact us by phoning
1300 137 295
6.4.2 WHAT DOES MY PSP INCLUDE?
Your PSP in relation to excisable tobacco products will include:
permission to deliver excisable tobacco products into the Australian domestic market
conditions, such as:
- settlement period - the period specified on which goods can be delivered
- the type of goods that may be delivered from each premises,
- quantity limits (if any)
- when you must pay the duty
- how you must pay - permitted methods (e.g. EFT, cheque, at a Post Office)
- when and how to lodge your excise return,
- record-keeping requirements
a schedule listing:
- one or more premises from which deliveries may be made.
Where you have deliveries in different states of Australia there may be different public holidays in those states. If your returns are prepared by an office in a state different from that in which the delivery into the Australian domestic market occurs, lodgment is due on the next business day in the state where the return is prepared.
A PSP specifies a settlement period starting on Saturday and ending on Friday. It states that excise returns must be lodged by 4 pm on the first business day after the end of the settlement period. It also says that the duty on deliveries made during the settlement period must be paid at the same time as the excise return is required to be lodged.
You must lodge an excise return and pay the duty by 4 pm on Monday for all goods delivered during the settlement period.
When a public holiday falls on a Monday, the excise return is due for lodgment and duty is to be paid by 4 pm on Tuesday, the next business day. |
6.4.3 WHAT MUST I DO TO DELIVER TOBACCO PRODUCTS INTO THE AUSTRALIAN DOMESTIC MARKET?
Delivery under periodic settlement permission
If we provide you with a PSP, you must take the following steps to deliver excisable tobacco products into the Australian domestic market:
- deliver the tobacco products into the Australian domestic market: (the products are now no longer subject to excise control)
- complete and submit your excise return in accordance with the timeframes in the permission, and
- pay the duty to us in accordance with the timeframes in the permission.
Delivery after prepaying the excise duty
If you do not have a PSP, you must take the following steps to deliver excisable tobacco products into the Australian domestic market:
- complete and submit your excise return
- pay the duty to us
- obtain a
from us, and
- deliver the tobacco products into the Australian domestic market.
6.4.4 HOW DO I LODGE EXCISE RETURNS AND PAY EXCISE DUTY?
To lodge your
You can pay excise duties:
- fax it to us on
1300 131 456
- post it to:
Excise Returns Processing Unit
PO Box 9100
WOLLONGONG, NSW, 2500.
- by electronic funds transfer, including direct credit and BPAY
- in person at a Post Office, or
- by mail (cheque or money order).
||If you are required to pay your other tax debts electronically, you must also make your payment for excise duty by electronic funds transfer.|
If you pay the excise duty at a Post Office, you must use a payment advice. To obtain a payment advice booklet, phone us on
13 72 26
or, if you need further information,
1800 815 886
and supply us with your Australian business number (or Excise Identification Number) and client account number.
Lodgment of an excise return and payment of any duty must be made by the due time stated on your PSP. This means that we must receive the funds by that time.
Failure to pay on time may result in the cancellation of your PSP.
|We do not accept credit card payments.|
|To obtain an
|For more information about completing your excise return refer to the
Excise return instructions
(NAT 15436). |
6.4.5 WHAT DO I DO IF I HAVE MADE AN ERROR ON MY EXCISE RETURN?
You may correct errors in your excise return or add new lines by lodging an amending excise return and referencing the number of your original return.
If your amendment results in a shortfall in excise duty paid, you must pay the additional duty when you lodge the amending return.
If your amendment results in an overpayment of excise duty, you may apply for a refund or treat the amount as a credit and offset it against the duty you are liable to pay in your next excise return.
An amending return can only be used to change product details.
If you wish to change other information in your original excise return (for example client details or the settlement period) you must lodge a new excise return form as the amending excise return form does not cater for changes to these sections. The new return must contain the amended details and refer to the original return. You should also request cancellation of the original return.
|To obtain an
Amending excise return
|For more information about completing your
Amending excise return
refer to the:
xcise return instructions
6.4.6 WHAT DO I DO IF I NEED MORE INFORMATION?
If you need more information on payment of duty contact us as follows:
We will ordinarily respond to written information requests within 28 days. If we cannot respond within 28 days, we will contact you within 14 days to obtain more information or negotiate an extended response date.
1300 137 295
(03) 9285 1168
- write to us at
Australian Taxation Office
PO Box 3001
PENRITH, NSW, 2740
6.5 WHAT PENALTIES CAN APPLY TO OFFENCES IN RELATION TO PAYMENT OF DUTY?
The following are the penalties that may apply after conviction for an offence.
Move, alter or interfere
If you move, alter or interfere with excisable tobacco products that are subject to excise control, without permission,
the penalty is a maximum of two years in prison or the greater of 500
and 5 times the amount of duty on the excisable tobacco products.
If you deliver excisable tobacco products into the Australian domestic market contrary to your permission, the penalty is a maximum of two years in prison or the greater of 500 penalty units and 5 times the amount of duty on the excisable tobacco products.
If you evade payment of any duty which is payable, the maximum penalty is 5 times the amount of duty on the excisable tobacco products.
False or misleading statements
If you make a false or misleading statement, or an omission from a statement in respect of duty payable on particular goods, to us, a penalty not exceeding the sum of 50 penalty units and twice the amount of duty payable on those goods.
6.6 TERMS USED
Deliver into the Australian domestic market
'Deliver into the Australian domestic market' is the term we use in this manual for when excisable tobacco products are released into domestic consumption. The term used in the legislation is 'deliver for home consumption'.
Normally this will be by delivering the goods away from licensed premises but includes using those goods yourself (for example sales to staff).
The term 'home consumption' is not defined in the Excise Act and there is no definitive case law that looks at the issue in question. However there are several cases where issues closely related to it are considered.
The conclusion drawn from those cases is that 'home consumption' refers to the destination of goods as being within Australia as opposed to export.
Excisable tobacco products
Excisable goods are goods on which excise duty is imposed. Excise duty is imposed on goods that are manufactured or produced in Australia and listed in the Schedule to the Excise Tariff.
As these guidelines deal with tobacco products, we have used the term excisable tobacco products.
Excisable tobacco products include:
Goods are subject to excise control from the point of manufacture until they have been delivered into the Australian domestic market or for export.
Goods subject to excise control cannot be moved, altered or interfered with except as authorised by the Excise Act.
An excise return
is the document that you use to advise us:
- cigarettes, and
A penalty unit is specified in
Crimes Act 1914
and, at the time of writing, is $110.
A remission of excise duty extinguishes the liability for duty that was created at the point of manufacture, in prescribed circumstances.
- the volume of excisable tobacco products that you have delivered into the Australian domestic market during the period designated on your PSP, or
- the volume of excisable tobacco products that you wish to deliver into the Australian domestic market following approval.
Tobacco means tobacco leaf subjected to any process other than curing the leaf as stripped from the plant.
This means that until tobacco leaf is subjected to processes after curing it is not excisable.
The species of the
genus that are generally used for smoking, chewing or snuff are considered to produce tobacco leaf. Those species are currently
This is an expression not found in excise legislation but it is widely used to describe goods that are subject to excise control. Excisable goods that are subject to excise control are commonly referred to as 'underbond goods' or as being 'underbond'. This includes goods that have not yet been delivered into the Australian domestic market and goods moving between premises under a movement permission.
|For more information about remissions see
- Remissions, refunds, drawbacks and exemptions.|
6.7 LEGISLATION (quick reference guide)
In this chapter we have referred to the following legislation:
Excise Act 1901
- Excisable goods and goods liable to duties of Customs may be used in manufacturing excisable goods
- Entry for home consumption etc.
- Payment of duty
- Declared period quotas - effect on rates of Excise duty
- Persons to keep excisable goods safely etc.
- Control of excisable goods
- Permission to deliver certain goods for home consumption without entry
- Tobacco leaf stock may be checked
- Time for commencing action
- Deposit of duty
- Review of decisions
Excise Tariff Act 1921
- Duties of excise
- Indexation of rates of duty
Crimes Act 1914
|OUR COMMITMENT TO YOU
The information in this publication is current at August 2008.
This publication is an expression of the Commissioner's opinion on the operation of tobacco excise legislation. This publication is not legally or administratively binding on the Commissioner and is not a 'public ruling' for the purposes of
of Schedule 1 to the
Taxation Administration Act 1953
. The law does not provide for legally binding rulings on tobacco excise legislation.
If you feel this publication does not fully cover your circumstances, please seek help from the Tax Office or a professional adviser. Since we regularly revise our publications to take account of any changes to the law, you should make sure this edition is the latest. The easiest way to do this is by checking for a more recent version on our website at