Sugar Tax Explained



I own a newsagents in Newry and have heard about the Sugar Tax that was introduced from 6 April 2018. Can you explain what it is?



The sugar tax, otherwise known as the Soft Drinks Levy is not a tax on consumers but will apply to the packagers and importers of soft drinks and low alcoholic drinks (alcoholic content of up to 1.2%) containing added sugar. Pure fruit juices and milkshakes will be exempt.



The sugar tax will be levied on drinks at a rate of 18p per litre of drink if it contains between 5 – 8 grams of sugar per 100 millilitres and at 24p per litre containing 8 grams or more.



To comply with this legislation any packager or importer of soft drinks must register for the levy. A return must be filed and the levy paid to HMRC online for every quarter, ending June, September, December and March within 30 days from the end of each quarter. If a levy has been overpaid, for example, if goods were exported, lost or destroyed, a levy credit can be claimed.



For each reporting period, specific records need to be maintained for 6 years. The records must include the number of litres of liable drinks in each levy band, the amount of levy payable, details of any levy credit and any adjustments or corrections to previously submitted returns. Additional specific records must also be kept by the packager and the importer which will include details of the number of litres of liable drinks, where they were stored, dates of delivery and removal, details of who made the delivery and who transported the delivery from storage.



As a retailer, you will not be required to register for the levy as it only applies to packagers and importers. However, the cost of the levy may have been passed onto you in an increased purchased price of the soft drinks or low alcoholic drinks subject to the levy.


The advice above is specific to the facts surrounding the questions posed. Neither PKF-FPM nor the contributors accept any liability for any direct or indirect loss arising from any reliance placed on replies.


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