Australian Government, 2006–07 Budget

Appendix C: Description of the revenue heads

Income taxation

Individuals and other withholding taxation

These revenue heads broadly cover all personal income tax. A schedule of the personal income tax rates for the period covered in this budget is provided in Table C1.

Gross income tax withholding

Gross income tax withholding includes all taxes withheld from payments made under the PayAsYouGo (PAYG) withholding system and amounts withheld because no Tax File Number or Australian Business Number was quoted. It also includes applicable Medicare levy revenue.

The bulk of ITW revenue arises from taxes withheld from wage and salary income, but also includes all other withholding taxes levied on natural resource payments, dividends, interest and royalties paid to nonresidents, and payments to Australian indigenous groups for the use of land for mineral exploration and mining. These taxes are often withheld from companies, rather than individuals, but are not separately identified from other PAYG revenues.

Gross other individuals

Gross revenue from other individuals consists of income tax paid by individuals other than that collected through the PAYG withholding system, and includes applicable Medicare levy revenue. It comprises:

  • PAYG instalments paid directly by individuals — that is, not withheld by employers; and
  • debit assessments on income tax returns.

Taxpayers in this category derive their income from many sources, including:

  • profits from small unincorporated businesses, primary production and investment activities;
  • wages and salaries (when PAYG withholding credits are insufficient to meet the tax liability on assessment); and
  • capital gains.

Most revenue from other individuals is collected directly from the taxpayer through the PAYG instalment system. Individuals with annual tax liabilities of $8,000 or more and individuals who are registered for the GST will generally make quarterly payments. Individuals who have annual taxation liabilities of less than $8,000 and are not registered for the GST have the choice of making quarterly payments or an annual payment.

Income tax refunds for individuals

A final assessment of the income tax liabilities of individual taxpayers is normally made on the basis of returns lodged after the end of each financial year. Refunds from the ATO are made where tax credits to an individual exceed their final liability on assessment. Conversely, when tax credits are insufficient to meet the final tax liability, taxpayers are required to make an additional payment for the difference.

Medicare levy

Medicare is the scheme that gives Australian residents access to public health care. To help fund the scheme, resident taxpayers pay a Medicare levy. The amount of levy paid is based on an individual's taxable income and is normally calculated at 1.5 per cent of taxable income, but this rate may vary depending on circumstances. An individual may be exempt from the levy or it may be reduced if the taxpayer has a low income. Individuals and families on higher incomes who do not have an appropriate level of private hospital cover may also have to pay the Medicare levy surcharge, which is calculated at an additional 1 per cent of taxable income.

Low income tax offset

The low income tax offset provides targeted tax relief to low income earners. The LITO is claimable on assessment and reduces a taxpayer's tax liability.

Table C1: Personal income tax rates(a)

Table C1: Personal income tax rates(a)

  1. These standard income tax rates can be offset by a range of concessional arrangements, including the senior Australians tax offset, the spouse tax offset, the low income tax offset and the mature age worker tax offset.
  2. These standard Medicare levy rates apply to singles. Different concessional and penalty rates apply in certain circumstances.
Fringe benefits tax

Fringe benefits tax is paid on non-salary benefits provided by employers to employees which are provided in place of, or in addition to, the salary and wages of employees.

The tax is payable by employers and is assessed on the value of the fringe benefits provided to employees or their associates. From 1 April 2006, fringe benefits tax will be levied at 46.5 per cent of the grossed-up taxable value of benefits, as calculated under the fringe benefits tax rules.

Following a reclassification in Government Finance Statistics reporting standards, fringe benefits tax now includes revenue collected from employees of Australian Government agencies.

Taxation on superannuation funds

These taxes cover all income taxes generally paid by superannuation funds on behalf of their members on their contributions and earnings. A schedule of the superannuation funds tax rates for the period covered in this budget is provided in Table C2.

Table C2: Superannuation funds tax rates

Table C2: Superannuation funds tax rates

  1. See measure description for personal tax cuts (consequential changes) in Budget Paper No. 2, Budget Measures 2006‑07.
Superannuation funds taxation

Like companies, superannuation funds are taxed through the PAYG instalment system, but generally at a concessional rate of 15 per cent in relation to taxable contributions received, capital gains and investment income. Only two-thirds of a capital gain is included in assessable income if the asset is held for at least 12 months.

Superannuation surcharge

The surcharge is levied on the surchargeable contributions of a superannuation fund member whose adjusted taxable income exceeds the superannuation surcharge lower income threshold in a financial year.

Surchargeable contributions include employer contributions, certain rolled-over 'golden handshakes' and tax deductible personal contributions made to superannuation funds. A termination payment surcharge applies to certain 'golden handshakes' retained as cash.

The surcharge was abolished with effect from 1 July 2005. It does not apply for the 2005-06 and later financial years. However, assessments of surcharge and amended assessments continue to be issued in respect of the 200405 and earlier financial years. Interest will still accrue on any surcharge debt an individual has incurred.

Company and other related income taxation

These revenue heads broadly cover all income taxes paid by corporate type entities. A schedule of the company income tax rates for the period covered in this budget is provided in Table C3.

Table C3: Company and other related income tax rates

Table C3: Company and other related income tax rates

Company income taxation

Company income taxation includes all income taxes paid by companies, including incorporated and unincorporated associations, limited partnerships and some public unit trusts.

Generally, every resident company that derives assessable income (including capital gains), whether sourced within or outside of Australia, and every non-resident company that derives assessable income from Australian sources, is required to pay company tax.

Company income taxation has been collected through the PAYG instalment system since the financial year beginning 1 July 2000. This system replaced the provisional tax and company tax instalment systems. Under the PAYG instalment system, most company taxpayers now pay their liability through four quarterly instalment payments and a balancing payment five months after the final instalment, although some small companies are able to make an annual payment.

Petroleum resource rent tax

Petroleum resource rent tax is levied at a rate of 40 per cent on economic profits in respect of offshore petroleum projects other than some of the North-West Shelf production and associated exploration areas, which are subject to excise (included in excise on petroleum and other fuel products) and royalties. The amount paid is deductible from a company's total profit when determining its company tax liability.

Excise and customs duty
Excise duty

The major categories of excisable products are petroleum and other fuel products, crude oil, oils and lubricants, tobacco and alcoholic beverages. Equivalent duties on identical imported products are imposed through, and reported under, customs duty.

Petroleum and other fuel excise includes excise on petrol, diesel fuel, biodiesel, aviation gasoline, aviation kerosene, fuel ethanol, fuel oil, heating oil and kerosene. It is imposed at specific rates per litre of product.

  • Petrol includes unleaded petrol and lead replacement petrol (which replaced leaded petrol but is taxed at the unleaded petrol rate).
  • All revenue from excise duty on aviation gasoline and aviation kerosene contributes to the funding of aviation activities undertaken by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority. The rates of excise applying to aviation fuels are adjusted, as necessary, depending on the funding requirements of those activities.

Crude oil excise provides a return to the community for the exploitation of its natural resources. The crude oil excise regime applies to:

  • production from offshore fields in the North-West Shelf production licence areas that are not subject to petroleum resource rent tax; and
  • production from onshore fields and fields in coastal waters.

The rate of excise varies according to the quantity of crude oil sold, the sale price of the crude oil, and the dates of discovery and development of the oil field.

Other excise is derived from beer, spirits, other alcoholic beverages (other than wine) and tobacco products.

  • For beer, spirits and other alcoholic beverages, excise is imposed on the alcohol content. The excise rate on beer in containers greater than 48 litres (draught beer) is lower than for other beer.
  • Excise is imposed on a per stick basis for cigarettes that do not exceed 0.8 grams (actual tobacco content) and on a per kilogram basis for other tobacco products.

Wine is not subject to excise, but is subject to the wine equalisation tax.

Excise indexation

The excise rates for petroleum products and oils and lubricants are no longer indexed. Excise indexation for petroleum products was removed in March 2001.

The rates of duty for other excisable products are adjusted every August and February in line with half yearly CPI movements (Table C4). If the change in the CPI is negative, the excise rate is not reduced. Instead the decline is carried forward to be set off against the next positive CPI movement.

Table C4: Excise rates

Table C4: Excise rates

  1. Aviation fuel rates were reduced to $0.02854 per litre with effect from 1 November 2005.
  2. Excise rates for these fuels will increase to $0.38143 on 1 July 2006.
Customs duty

Customs duty is imposed as a percentage of the value of the imported good and/or on a volumetric basis (where duty is applied per unit of quantity) for excise equivalent products. In general, other dutiable goods attract a general tariff rate of 5 per cent.

Tariffs on passenger motor vehicles and textile, clothing and footwear account for around one-third of the total duty collected. Approximately 40 per cent of customs duty revenue is derived from duty imposed on imports of petroleum products, tobacco, beer and spirits, which is akin to excise duty on these items.

Table C5: Tariff rates

Table C5: Tariff rates

Other taxation

Wine equalisation tax

All wines, meads, perries, ciders and sakes are subject to a wine equalisation tax (WET) of 29 per cent on the wholesale value of the goods. The tax was introduced as part of The New Tax System to offset the removal of the previous wholesale sales tax on wine and the application of the goods and services tax. The WET was set at a rate to ensure that the price of cask wine need only increase by the estimated general price rise.

Unlike alcohol excises, the wine equalisation tax is an ad valorem tax. It is calculated at a rate of 29 per cent of the final wholesale price or, in certain other permitted circumstances, of a nominal wholesale value calculated as 50 per cent of the retail price, or alternatively at the average wholesale price for identical wine.

From 1 October 2004, a rebate has been payable on the first $290,000 in wine equalisation tax paid annually by any producer or producer group. This rebate will increase to $500,000 from 1 July 2006.

Luxury car tax

The luxury car tax was introduced as part of The New Tax System to maintain a tax differentiation between luxury vehicles and other vehicles sold in Australia.

The luxury car tax applies at a rate of 25 per cent for every dollar over the luxury car threshold. The current luxury car threshold is $57,009. The threshold is indexed annually using the motor vehicle purchase component of the CPI, which is composed of observed price movements for new vehicles sold in Australia.

Agricultural levies

Agricultural levies and charges are used to fund industry activities, such as research and development, marketing and promotion, residue testing, and animal health programmes.

The need for a levy is usually identified by the industry itself and the levy is generally collected at the first point of sale of the primary produce or point of further processing.

All levies and charges are paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund without deduction and then disbursed to fund the relevant programme.

Other taxes

The major contributors to this category are the passenger movement charge and import processing and depot charges administered by the Australian Customs Service.

Other contributors include broadcasting licence fees, which are payable by all commercial radio and television licensees and are calculated as a percentage of licensees' gross earning for the previous year. Other taxes also include the Superannuation Guarantee Charge and the Universal Service Obligation levy.

Non-taxation revenue

Sales of goods and services

This category consists of revenue from the direct provision of goods and services by the Australian Government general government sector, including reimbursement of GST administration costs received from the states.

Dividends

The main sources of dividends are the Australian Government's business enterprises, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and the Future Fund. Dividend payments from the RBA can be volatile, as they are sensitive to movements in interest rates and the exchange rate.

Interest

Interest from other governments

This category mainly consists of revenue from the States for interest on General Purpose and Specific Purpose borrowings.

The Australian Government receives interest payments from the States in respect of General Purpose borrowings made on behalf of the States under the State Governments' Loan Council Programme (and from the Northern Territory in respect of advances made under similar General Purpose capital assistance arrangements). Payments relating to these advances are made, in turn, by the Australian Government to bond holders.

Interest from the States on General Purpose borrowings is declining as a result of the June 1990 Loan Council decision that the States and Territories make additional payments to the Australian Government each year to facilitate the redemption of all maturing Australian Government securities issued on their behalf. The reduction in interest revenue from the States is matched by a reduction in public debt interest expenses.

The Australian Government also receives interest on Specific Purpose borrowings to the States, including on advances made under the Commonwealth-State Housing Agreements, States (Works and Housing) Assistance Acts, Northern Territory Housing Advances, and by the Australian Capital Territory on debts assumed upon self-government.

Interest from other sources

This item includes interest income on Australian Government cash balances and on other financial assets including assets held by the Future Fund. It excludes swap transactions entered into as part of the Australian Government's debt management strategy, as they are reported separately in the Statement of Other Economic Flows under Government Finance Statistics standards. The Australian Office of Financial Management is responsible for the management and reporting of the Australian Government's net debt portfolio.

Other sources of non-taxation revenue

Other non-taxation revenue includes petroleum royalties paid by producers operating in the Timor Sea and the North-West Shelf oil and gas fields, Child Support Trust Revenue (collected by the Child Support Agency) and seigniorage from circulation coin production.

 

Miscellaneous