Vegetable Levy Frequently Asked Questions

How is the levy collected?
Who decides how the levy is spent?
When is levy due for payment?
What is the record process?
Are there any penalties for late payments or other offenses?
Does the Goods and Service Tax (GST) apply to levies?
Where do I lodge my return?
What legislation is associated with the levy?
Who pays the vegetable levy?

How is the levy collected?

The levy is collected from the grower at the first point of sale. This is usually at a wholesale market or processing company. If it is a direct sale it is collected by the retailer. A producer who sells produce direct to consumers must submit the levy and returns directly to the Levies Revenue Service (LRS).

The levy is applicable to fresh and processed vegetables. The collected revenue is forwarded to the LRS, a designated Australian Government section under the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries that is responsible for collecting all agriculture levies.

In the case of the National Vegetable Levy the revenue is forwarded to Horticulture Innovation Australia (HIA), an industry-owned company that coordinates, invests and manages research and development and promotional programs on behalf of Australia's horticulture levies.

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Who decides how the levy is spent?

While HIA is responsible for managing industry funds and Australian Government matched funds, it is the industry's responsibility to advise how funds should be allocated. The Industry Advisory Committee (IAC) is a subcommittee of the HIA board. The IAC and the industry advisory group members are the key representatives who recommend to HIA what research and development projects should be funded by the National Vegetable Levy.

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When is levy due for payment?

Quarterly Returns:
Quarterly returns with payment must be submitted to LRS on or before the 28th day after March, June, September and December quarters. For example, the return and payment for the quarter ending 30 June, i.e. for the months of April, May and June, is due on or before 28 July.

Annual Returns:

The return is due together with payment on or before 28 August in the next levy year. For example, the return and payment for 2006/2007 levy year must be lodged by 28 August 2007.

A first purchaser, buying agent, selling agent or exporter may apply for an exemption from the requirement to lodge quarterly returns for a levy year through the LRS if that person has reasonable grounds for believing that the total liability of levy/export charge payable for vegetables dealt with in the year will be less than $500.

Please contact your nearest LRS office to ascertain if you qualify as an annual payer.

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What is the record process?

People who lodge returns and people who pay levies to intermediaries are required to keep records supporting the information supplied in returns or information relating to payments made to intermediaries. These records are to be kept for a period of five years and are to be made available to LRS officers.

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Are there any penalties for late payments or other offences?

Where a levy/export charge is paid late, penalty will be payable at the rate of two per cent per month, compounding on the sum of the unpaid amounts, including penalties already accrued.

Penalties are also imposed for other breaches of the legislation.

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Does the Goods and Service Tax (GST) apply to levies?

No. Australian Government levies administered by the LRS are exclusive of the GST. The levy is a separate calculation, exclusive of GST consideration.

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Where do I lodge my return?

Send your completed returns and payments to:

The Secretary
Levies Revenue Service Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Locked Bag 4488
KINGSTON ACT 2604

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What legislation is associated with the levy?

Copies of the legislation applicable to funds can be obtained by visiting SCALEplus Law Resource.

This information sheet is a guide only and does not substitute for the relevant legislation.

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Who pays the vegetable levy?

The National Vegetable Levy applies to all vegetables with the following exceptions:
(a) asparagus; or
(b) garlic; or
(c) hard onions (being bulbs of the species Allium cepa); or
(d) herbs (other than fresh culinary shallots and parsley); or
(e) melons; or
(f) mushrooms; or
(g) potatoes (other than sweet potatoes); or
(h) seed sprouts; or
(i) tomatoes; or
(j) vegetables of a kind for which the following rates of levy or charge are not applicable: 
    (i) a rate of levy for subclause 4 (3) of Schedule 15 to the Excise Levies Act; or 
    (ii) a rate of charge for subclause 3 (5) of Schedule 10 to the Customs Charges Act.

Note 1: Vegetables to which Part 17 of Schedule 10 to the Customs Charges Regulations applies are chargeable horticultural products — see that Part.

Note 2: Vegetables to which Part 17 of Schedule 15 to the Excise Levies Regulations applies are leviable horticultural products — see that Part.

For further enquiries contact Levies Revenue Service toll free on:
Brisbane 1800 647 801
Adelaide/Darwin/Hobart 1800 814 961
Melbourne 1800 683 839
Sydney 1800 625 103
Perth 1800 895 506
Canberra 1800 020 619

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