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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 2018–19 were $426.0 billion, up $29.2 billion (7.4%) over the previous year, and $8.3 billion (2.0%) above the amount expected at the time of the Budget 2018–19.

Company tax collections increased by $9.0 billion (10.7%) in 2018–19. The outcome was $4.5 billion above the Budget forecast, largely reflecting higher-than-expected mining profits due to high commodity prices.

Total individuals tax collections grew by $16.7 billion (8.1%) this year. The outcome was $5.7 billion above the Budget forecast, partly reflecting higher-than-expected capital gains and dividend income, and weaker deductions.

Superannuation income tax collections increased by $0.5 billion (4.3%) this year. The outcome was $1.0 billion above the Budget forecast.

GST collections increased by $2.0 billion (3.2%) this year. The outcome was $2.2 billion below the Budget forecast, reflecting weaker than expected growth in consumption and dwelling investment.

Excise collections were $0.6 billion (2.6%) higher than 2017–18 and $0.2 billion higher than the Budget forecast.

ATO net tax cash collections, 2016–17 to 2018–19(a)

Tax

2016–17
$m

2017–18
$m

2018–19
$m

Gross PAYG withholding(b)

179,355

192,229

204,764

Gross other individuals

42,871

43,866

48,423

Individual refunds

–28,364

–29,102

–29,514

Total individuals

193,863

206,993

223,673

Companies

68,408

84,549

93,590

Superannuation funds(c)

8,218

10,804

11,269

Resource rent taxes(d)

981

1,116

1,053

Fringe benefits tax(e)

4,046

3,911

3,794

Total income tax

275,515

307,373

333,379

Excise

21,800

22,703

23,300

Goods and services tax (GST)(f)

60,022

63,265

65,270

Other indirect taxes(g)

1,506

1,586

1,657

Total indirect taxes

83,328

87,554

90,227

Major bank levy(h)

1,139

1,560

Superannuation guarantee charge

283

441

577

Foreign investment application fees

134

114

94

Self-managed superannuation fund levy

122

129

144

Total net tax collections

359,381

396,749

425,980

Other revenue(i)

666

326

–59

Total collections

360,046

397,075

425,921

HELP/SFSS(j)

2,129

2,462

2,915

NOTES

(a) The cash collections data presented in this table has been adjusted to exclude administered expenses and better align with the financial statements and the Final Budget Outcome. Totals may differ from the sum of components due to rounding.

(b) Includes amounts withheld from salaries and wages, TFN and ABN withholdings, dividend, interest, royalty, and mining withholding taxes.

(c) Includes income tax for superannuation funds and superannuation surcharge, and no TFN contributions tax.

(d) For 2016–17 and 2018–19, resource rent taxes include both petroleum resource rent tax and minerals resource rent tax.

(e) Includes Australian Government departments and authorities.

(f) Includes some collections by the Department of Home Affairs; in 2018–19, these were $4.2 billion. Also includes GST non-general interest charge penalties, which are not distributed to the state and territory governments under the intergovernmental agreement.

(g) Includes wine equalisation tax (WET) and luxury car tax (LCT), of which a small amount was collected by the Department of Home Affairs.

(h) Started 1 July 2017.

(i) The majority of ‘other revenue’ is net unclaimed superannuation monies. The ATO’s efforts to engage with and encourage fund members to reunite with their lost and unclaimed super has meant that transfers from ATO-held superannuation accounts to members exceeded receipts of unclaimed superannuation monies in 2018–19.

(j) Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) and Student Financial Supplement Scheme (SFSS) collections.

Expected revenue – Variation between Budget forecast and actual net collections in 2018–19

Collected from

Collections
$m

Budget
$m

Variance
$m

Total individuals

223,673

218,000

5,673

Companies

93,590

89,100

4,490

GST

65,270

67,510

–2,240

Superannuation funds

11,269

10,310

959

Other

32,179

32,788

–609

Total net tax collections

425,980

417,708

8,273

In 2018–19, we issued income tax refunds with a total value of $43.1 billion. We also issued activity statement refunds with a total value of $64.0 billion. Total refunds were $107.2 billion, up 4.8% from 2017–18.

Amount refunded, 2016–17 to 2018–19 (a)

Type of refund

2016–17
$m

2017–18
$m

2018–19
$m

Income tax

Income tax – Total individuals(b)

28,364

29,102

29,514

Income tax – Companies

9,550

9,311

9,609

Income tax – Superannuation funds(c)

3,674

3,473

3,296

Income tax – Resource rent taxes(d)

110

42

167

Income tax – Fringe benefits tax(e)

706

565

546

Total income tax

42,403

42,493

43,131

Excise

34

30

27

Activity statements(f)

56,700

59,777

64,006

TOTAL

99,137

102,300

107,164

NOTES

(a) 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. Totals may differ from the sum of components due to rounding.

(b) Excludes administered payments, such as private health insurance rebate.

(c) Includes superannuation surcharge refunds.

(d) For 2016–17 and 2018–19, resource rent taxes includes both petroleum resource rent tax and minerals resource rent tax.

(e) Includes Australian Government departments and authorities.

(f) Excludes fuel tax credit business activity statement refunds.