Chestnuts levy and charge

​​​​​​​​IMPORTANT—you can lodge your chestnuts return online.

The chestnuts levy and charge was first introduced 1 February 1992. Chestnuts that are produced in Australia and sold by a producer or that are exported will attract a levy or charge.

Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited and Plant Health Australia (PHA) are responsible for the expenditure of the chestnuts levy and charge.

Chestnuts levy and charge rates

Chestnuts means a peeled or unpeeled edible chestnut of the genus Castanea.

Retail sale means any sale of chestnuts by a producer except a sale to a first purchaser or through a selling agent, buying agent or exporting agent.

The chestnuts levy and charge rate comprises Emergency Plant Pest Response (EPPR), marketing, PHA membership and research and development (R&D), and shown in the table below:

Levy componentChestnuts levy and charge rates
EPPR$10.00 per tonne
Marketing$50.00 per tonne
PHA$5.00 per tonne
R&D $45.00 per tonne
TOTAL $110.00 per tonne

The chestnuts levy and charge rate is calculated per tonne. The chestnuts charge is not payable if the levy has already been applied to the chestnuts prior to export.

GST is not applied to Australian Government levies and charges.

Do I need to lodge a return and make a payment?

A producer of chestnuts, the person who owns the chestnuts immediately after harvest is liable to pay the levy.

If you produce chestnuts and sell more than 500 kilograms of chestnuts by retail sale you must lodge a return and make a payment to the department.

If you produce chestnuts and sell your produce through an intermediary, including a first purchaser, buying agent, selling agent or exporting agent, the amount of levy they pay to the department on your behalf can be recovered from you by offset or otherwise.

If you are an intermediary, including a first purchaser, buying agent, selling agent or exporting agent, you must lodge a return and make a payment to the department. You can recover from the producer the amount of levy paid to the department, by offset or otherwise.

If you export chestnuts—that is, you are the person who owns the chestnuts at the time of export, you must lodge a return and make a payment to the department.

Exemptions from paying the chestnuts levy

A producer is not liable to pay the chestnuts levy if the producer sold 500 kilograms or less of chestnuts by retail sale in a financial year.

How do I lodge a chestnuts return?

You must register with the department to receive a unique LRS number before you can lodge your first return.

To lodge your return online, access Levies Online. Alternatively, you can complete a manual horticulture return form.

Return and payment dates

IMPORTANT: If you pay your levy or charge late you will incur a penalty that is calculated daily at a compounding rate of 2 per cent of the unpaid amount each month, including any penalties you have already accrued until you have paid the outstanding amount in full.

The chestnuts levy and charge is based on a financial year.

Quarterly returns and payments

Quarterly returns and payments must be lodged with the department within 28 days of the end of March, June, September and December.

Example: for the quarter ending 30 June – if you bought, sold or exported chestnuts in the months of April, May and June – your quarterly return is due on or before 28 July.

Annual return and payment

As a chestnuts levy and charge payer you may be eligible to lodge your return and make a payment to the department once a year, that is on or before 28 August in the next financial year.

Example: the 2016-17 annual return and payment must be made on or before 28 August 2017.

To be eligible for an annual return and payment, you must have reasonable grounds to believe that the total quantity of chestnuts which you are likely to deal in, in a financial year amounts to less than $500 of levy or charge. You must also make an application to the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. If you would like to make an application please contact the department’s levies office in your state or territory.

What must be included in my return?

As a producer of chestnuts, your return for a quarter or levy year must set out for that quarter or levy year:

  1. Your personal details, including:
    1. Full name
    2. Business or residential address, not the address of a post office box or post office bag
    3. Post office box or post office bag, and
    4. Australian Business Number (ABN), or if you are a company the Australian Company Number (ACN)
  2. Period to which the return relates
  3. Quantity of chestnuts sold by retail sale
  4. Amount of levy payable for each of those quantities
  5. Total amount of levy payable, and
  6. Total amount of levy paid.

As an intermediary of chestnuts, including as a first purchaser, buying agent, selling agent or exporting agent, your return for a quarter must set out for that quarter:

  1. Your personal details, including:
    1. Full name
    2. Business or residential address, not the address of a post office box or post office bag
    3. Post office box or post office bag, and
    4. ABN, or if you are a company the ACN
  2. Period to which the return relates
  3. Quantity of chestnuts, in kilograms, bought, sold or exported
  4. Amount of levy and charge payable for each of those quantities
  5. Total amount of levy and charge payable, and
  6. Total amount of levy and charge paid.

As an exporter of chestnuts, your return for a quarter or levy year must set out for that quarter or levy year:

  1. Your personal details, including:
    1. Full name
    2. Business or residential address, not the address of a post office box or post office bag
    3. Post office box or post office bag, and
    4. ABN, or if you are a company the ACN
  2. Period to which the return relates
  3. Quantity of chestnuts, in kilograms, exported
  4. Amount of charge payable for each of those quantities
  5. Total amount of charge payable, and
  6. Total amount of charge paid.

What records do I need to keep?

As a producer of chestnuts, you must keep records for five (5) years showing for each levy year, the:

  1. Quantity of chestnuts, in kilogram, sold by retail sale
  2. Amount of levy payable
  3. Amount of levy paid.

As an intermediary of chestnuts, including as a first purchaser, buying agent, selling agent or exporting agent, you must keep records for five (5) years showing for each levy year, the:

  1. Quantity of chestnuts, in kilograms, received, bought, sold or exported
  2. The date the chestnuts were received, bought, sold or exported
  3. Amount of levy and charge payable
  4. Amount of levy and charge paid, and
  5. Details for each person on whose behalf the chestnuts was dealt with, the persons:
    1. Full name, business or residential address (not the address of a post office box or post office bag) and Australian Business Number, if any, or if the person is a company and does not have an ABN, its Australian Company Number.

As an exporter of chestnuts, you must keep records for five (5) years showing for each levy year, the:

  1. Date the consignment was exported
  2. Quantity of chestnuts, in kilograms, in the consignment
  3. Amount of charge payable, and
  4. Amount of charge paid.

Primary Industries Legislation

The chestnuts levy and charge is provided for under the:

Primary Industries (Excise) Levies Act 1999

Primary Industries (Customs) Charges Act 1999, and

Primary Industries Levies and Charges Collection Act 1991.

This information is a guide only. If you are required to lodge a return and make a payment to the department it is your responsibility to remain aware of your obligations under legislation.

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