Turf levy and charge

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

The turf levy and charge was first introduced 1 October 2006. Turf that is produced in Australian and sold by the producer or that is exported will attract the turf levy or charge. Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited is responsible for the expenditure of the turf levy and charge.

Turf levy and charge rate

The turf levy and charge rate comprises marketing and research and development (R&D), as shown in the table below:

Levy and charge componentLevy and charge rate
Marketing0.3 cents per square metre
R&D1.2 cents per square metre
TOTAL 1.5 cents per square metre

The turf levy and charge is calculated per square metre. The turf charge is not payable if the levy has already been applied to the turf prior to export. GST is not applied to Australian Government levies and charges.

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

The producer, the person who owns the turf immediately after it is harvested is liable to pay the levy.

If you produce turf and sell your turf in Australia you must lodge a return and make a payment to the department.

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

Exemptions from paying the turf levy and charge

A producer is not liable to pay the turf levy and charge if the producer of the turf deals in no more than 20,000 square metres of turf in a financial year.

How do I lodge a turf 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 turf 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 the quarters of March, June, September and December.

Example: for the quarter ending 30 September - if you bought, sold or exported almonds 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

As a turf 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 2017 annual financial year return and payment must be made on or before 28 August 2018.

To be eligible for an annual return and payment, you must have reasonable grounds to believe that the total quantity of turf which you are likely to deal in, in a financial year, amounts to less than $750 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 turf, your return for a quarter or levy year must set out in respect of each quarter in 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. Quantities of leviable turf sold
  4. Amount of levy payable, and
  5. Amount of levy paid.

As an exporter of turf, your return for a quarter or levy year must set out in respect of each quarter in 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. ABN, or if you are a company the ACN
  2. Period to which the return relates
  3. Quantities of chargeable turf exported
  4. Amount of charge payable, and
  5. Amount of charge paid.

What records do I need to keep?

As a producer of turf, you must keep records for five (5) years setting out for each quarter or levy year, the:

  1. Quantity of turf sold
  2. Amount of levy payable, and
  3. Amount of levy paid.

As an exporter of turf, you must keep records for five (5) years setting out for each quarter or levy year, the:

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

Primary Industries Legislation

The turf levy and charge is provided for under the:

Primary Industries (Customs) Charges Act 1999

Primary Industries (Excise) Levies 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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