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ATO extends support for venues with takeaway sales

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The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has said it is extending its support for venues that have started selling takeaway alcohol sales during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The ATO said it is aware that a high number of venues have reopened and that state and territory liquor licensing requirements regarding the sale of takeaway alcohol during the pandemic remain relaxed. For many bars, adding takeaway to their offering for the first time has been vital in staying afloat throughout the lockdown.

The ATO said it will not take compliance action in the following alcohol repackaging circumstances that would normally require you to have an excise manufacturer licence and pay excise duty:

  • Where alcohol service venues are in possession of duty-paid kegged beer which they repackage and sell in sealed containers (such as growlers).
  • Where alcohol service venues use duty-paid alcoholic beverages to make ‘cocktails’ for takeaway sale in sealed containers.

The ATO said: “This applies from 23 March until 30 September 2020. It has been extended from the original announcement, which only applied until 30 June 2020.

“It applies to alcohol service venues (including venues that have reopened) that remain impacted by state and territory COVID-19 restrictions. For example, where the four square metre rule applies or there are limits on the number of patrons allowed in an enclosed space.

“The ATO will review these arrangements in September to determine whether a further temporary extension is required.”

The tax office also recommended operators save the alcohol excise page as a favourite to ensure they can access the latest COVID-19 information.

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