Revenue collection

As Australia's principal revenue agency, the ATO facilitates the collection of revenue to fund public goods and services for the community. We do this through a range of collection systems, including income tax, goods and services tax (GST), and excise duty.

Net tax collections in 2015–16 were $342.6 billion, up $5.8 billion (1.7%) over the previous year, but $14.5 billion (4.1%) below the amount expected at the time of the Budget 2015–16. Net collections for 2015–16 comprised $440.0 billion in gross tax receipts and refunds of $97.4 billion.

Much of the drag on net collections came from company tax receipts, which fell below last year’s levels by $4.3 billion. This was mainly attributable to declines in commodity prices, which flowed on to weak growth in company profits and capital gains. In addition, the Small Business Package and lower collections from bringing forward the monthly pay as you go (PAYG) instalment measure weighed on company tax collections.

Another drag on net collections came from lower excise collections from the finalisation of offshoring of all tobacco production. This resulted in a corresponding increase in excise collected by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Furthermore, gross receipts from income tax withholding grew at a slower pace than the previous year, reflecting historically weak wage growth which offset the effect of employment growth. By contrast, GST collections were up 5.4% over the previous year, in part reflecting the impact of strong growth in dwelling investment.

TABLE 2.2 ATO net tax collections, 2011–12 to 2015–16(a)
 

2011–12
$m

2012–13
$m

2013–14
$m

2014–15
$m

2015–16
$m

Gross PAYG withholding(b)

142,770

149,807

156,211

166,352

173,436

Gross other individuals

31,141

33,294

34,787

38,541

41,746

Individual refunds

-25,537

-26,801

-27,407

-27,033

-28,081

Total individuals

148,373

156,300

163,592

177,860

187,101

Companies

66,608

66,924

67,305

66,946

62,648

Super funds(c)

7,562

7,661

6,101

5,873

6,834

Resources rent taxes(d)

1,463

1,817

1,511

1,870

741

Fringe benefits tax(e)

3,731

3,922

4,077

4,347

4,368

Total income tax

227,737

236,623

242,585

256,896

261,692

Excise

25,545

25,412

26,075

23,663

21,492

Goods and services tax(f)

46,205

48,271

51,366

54,579

57,536

Other indirect taxes(g)

1,143

1,160

1,230

1,312

1,456

Total indirect taxes

72,893

74,843

78,671

79,555

80,485

Superannuation guarantee charge

323

337

395

379

341

Foreign investment application fees(h)

na

na

na

na

78

Total net tax collections

300,953

311,803

321,650

336,830

342,596

Self-managed super fund levy

70

89

137

181

155

Other revenue – unclaimed monies(i)

141

1,190

287

253

604

Total collections

301,164

313,082

322,074

337,264

343,355

HELP/SFSS(j)

1,520

1,625

1,698

1,751

1,907

  1. The collections data presented in this table has been adjusted to exclude administered expenses and better align with our financial statements and the Final Budget Outcome. Totals may differ from the sum of components due to rounding.
  2. Includes amounts withheld from salaries and wages, TFN and ABN withholdings, dividend, interest, royalty, and mining withholding taxes.
  3. Includes income tax for super funds and superannuation surcharge, and no TFN contributions tax.
  4. From 2012–13 to 2014–15, resource rent taxes includes both petroleum resource rent tax and minerals resource rent tax.
  5. Includes Australian Government departments and authorities.
  6. Includes some collections by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. In 2015–16, these were $3.5 billion. Includes GST non-general interest charge penalties, which are not distributed to the state and territory governments under the intergovernmental agreement.
  7. Includes wine equalisation tax and luxury car tax, of which a small amount was collected by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
  8. Started 1 December 2015.
  9. The majority of ‘other revenue – unclaimed monies’ is unclaimed superannuation monies.
  10. Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) and Student Financial Supplement Scheme (SFSS) collections.

 

Over 2015–16, the forecasts for net tax collections were revised down for the larger revenue heads, with the exception of gross other individuals and GST. The revisions were due mainly to sharper-than-expected declines in commodity prices, wage growth remaining at historic lows and continued offshoring of tobacco production.

TABLE 2.3 Variation between 2015–16 Budget forecast and actual net collections in 2015–16

 

Collections
$m

Budget
$m

Variance
$m

Total individuals

187,101

189,600

–2,499

Companies

62,648

68,200

–5,552

GST

57,536

57,320

216

Superannuation funds

6,834

9,080

–2,246

Other

28,477

32,941

–4,464

Total net tax collections

342,596

357,141

–14,545

 

In 2015–16, we issued income tax refunds with a total value of $43.2 billion. We also issued activity statement refunds with a total value of $54.2 billion. Total refunds were $97.4 billion, up 2.0% from 2014–15.    

TABLE 2.4 Amount refunded, 2011–12 to 2015–16(a)
 

2011–12
$m

2012–13
$m

2013–14
$m

2014–15
$m

2015–16
$m

Income tax

         

Total individuals(b)

25,537

26,801

27,407

27,033

28,081

Companies

9,435

10,511

11,336

10,001

10,474

Superannuation funds(c)

3,210

2,689

3,367

3,431

3,941

Resource rent taxes(d)

162

174

429

163

81

Fringe benefits tax(e)

410

455

568

481

583

Total income tax

38,755

40,630

43,107

41,108

43,160

Excise

62

47

46

51

64

Activity statements(f)

53,748

56,695

54,387

54,297

54,169

TOTAL

92,565

97,372

97,540

95,456

97,394

  1. From 2013–14, the refunds data presented in this table has been adjusted to exclude all administered expenses and better align with our financial statements and the Final Budget Outcome. This has reduced company and activity statement refunds by $2.0 billion and $4.5 billion respectively for 2015–16. Totals may differ from the sum of components due to rounding.
  2. Excludes administered payments, such as the private health insurance rebate, education tax benefits, and the baby bonus.
  3. Includes superannuation surcharge refunds.
  4. From 2012–13 to 2014–15, resource rent taxes includes both petroleum resource rent tax and minerals resource rent tax.
  5. Includes Australian Government departments and authorities.
  6. Includes GST credits and fuel tax credits BAS refunds for 2011–12 and 2012–13. Fuel tax credits refunds excluded from 2013–14.