Potatoes levy and charge

​​​​​​IMPORTANT—you can lodge your potatoes return o​nline.

The potatoes levy and charge was first introduced 1 August 1991. Unprocessed potatoes that are produced and sold in Australia or exported from Australia will attract a levy or charge. Processed potatoes used in the production of other goods will attract a levy. Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited and Plant Health Australia (PHA) are responsible for the expenditure of the potatoes levy and charge.

Potatoes levy and charge rates

Potatoes means a tuber of the species Solanum tuberosum.

Processing potatoes means unprocessed potatoes that are used in the production of other goods, except potatoes processed at a processing establishment if the business carried out at the establishment is not wholly or substantially a business of the processing of horticultural products.

Unprocessed potatoes means potatoes for the fresh market, processing potatoes or potatoes for seed.

A producer of processing potatoes means the person who owns the processing potatoes when processing begins.

A process relating to potatoes does not include washing, brushing, grading, packing, preparing potatoes for non-commercial use and any operation in the course of planting or growing potatoes.

Retail sale means a sale of unprocessed potatoes by a producer other than to a first purchaser, processor, selling agent or buying agent, for example by roadside stall.

The potato levy and charge rate comprises Emergency Plant Pest Response (EPPR), PHA and research and development (R&D), as set out in the table below:

PotatoesEPPRPHAR&D TOTAL
Unprocessed potatoes$0.002 cents per tonne48 cents per tonne 50 cents per tonne
Processing potatoes-1 cent per tonne49 cents per tonne 50 cents per tonne

The potato levy and charge rates is calculated per tonne. The charge on fresh potatoes is not payable if the levy has already been applied to the fresh potatoes 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 unprocessed potatoes, the person who owns the potatoes immediately after harvest, is liable to pay the levy.

An owner of processing potatoes, the person who owns the processing potatoes when processing begins, is liable to pay the processing potatoes levy.

If you produce and sell your unprocessed potatoes by retail sale, for example by roadside stall, and the total amount you have sold is equal to or greater than $100 in a levy year, you must lodge a return and make a payment to the department.

If you produce and sell your potatoes through an intermediary, including a first purchaser, buying agent, selling agent, exporting agent or a processor, the amount of levy or charge 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, exporting agent or processor, 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 fresh potatoes—that is, you are the person who owns the fresh potatoes at the time of export, you must lodge a return and make a payment to the department.

Exemptions from paying the potatoes levy and charge

A producer of unprocessed potatoes is not liable to pay the levy if the potatoes are sold as stockfeed or the total quantity of unprocessed potatoes that are sold by retail sale in a calendar year does not exceed 100 tonnes.

A producer of processing potatoes is also not liable to pay the levy if the total quantity of processed potatoes that are used by the owner of the processed potatoes in a calendar year does not exceed 100 tonnes.

How do I lodge a potatoes 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 potatoes levy and charge is based on a calendar year.

Quarterly returns and payments

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

Example: for the quarter ending 30 September—if you bought, sold or exported potatoes in the months of July, August and September— your quarterly return and payment is due to the department on or before 28 October.

Annual return and payment

A producer who sold leviable unprocessed potatoes by retail sale in a calendar year must lodge a return and make a payment to the department once a year, that is on or before 28 February in the next calendar year.

Example: the 2017 annual calendar year return and payment must be made on or before 28 February 2018.

As a potatoes levy and charge payer you may be eligible for an annual return and payment. To be eligible you must have reasonable grounds to believe that the total quantity of potatoes which you are likely to deal in, in a calendar year, would be less than 1000 tonnes. 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 potatoes, your return for a levy year must set out for that 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 leviable potatoes sold by retail sale
  4. Amount of levy payable
  5. Total amount of levy payable, and
  6. Total amount of levy paid.

As an intermediary of potatoes, 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 unprocessed dealt with
  4. Quantity of processed potatoes dealt with
  5. Amount of levy or charge payable for the unprocessed
  6. Amount levy or charge payable for the processed potatoes
  7. Total amount of levy and charge payable, and
  8. Total amount of levy and charge paid.

As a processor of potatoes, 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 unprocessed potatoes bought and processed
  4. Amount of levy payable for that quantities
  5. Total amount of levy payable, and
  6. Total amount of levy paid.

As an exporter of potatoes, 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 unprocessed potatoes exported
  4. Quantity of processed potatoes exported
  5. Amount of charge payable for the unprocessed
  6. Amount charge payable for the processed potatoes
  7. Total amount of charge payable, and
  8. Total amount of charge paid.

Note: A person who is the proprietor of more than one processing establishment must lodge a single return for each processing establishment of which the person is the proprietor.

What records do I need to keep?

As a producer of potatoes, you must keep records for five (5) years showing for each quarter, the:

  1. Quantity of leviable potatoes sold by retail sale
  2. Amount of levy payable, and
  3. Amount of levy paid.

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

  1. Quantity of unprocessed potatoes bought, sold or exported
  2. Quantity of processed potatoes bought, sold or exported
  3. Amounts of levy and charge payable for each of those quantities, and
  4. Amounts of levy and charge paid for each of those quantities.

As an exporter of potatoes, you must keep records for five (5) years showing for each quarter, the:

  1. Quantity of potatoes exported
  2. Amount of charge payable, and
  3. Amount of charge paid.

As a processor of potatoes, you must keep records for five (5) years showing for each quarter in which the processing of potatoes begins, the:

  1. Quantity of potatoes processed
  2. Amounts of levy payable, and
  3. Amounts of levy paid.

Primary Industries Legislation

The potatoes 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.

​​