Newsflash Tax 9th Apr 2018

Soft Drinks – Hard Times

The Soft Drinks Industry Levy Regulations 2018 came into force on Friday 6 April 2018. The so called “sugar tax” is a levy of:

  • 18p per litre on drinks that have a total sugar content of more than 5g and less than 8g per 100ml; or
  • 24p per litre on drinks that have a total sugar content of 8g or more per 100ml.

The levy applies to a drink if:

  • it has had sugar added during production, or anything (other than fruit juice, vegetable juice and milk) that contains sugar, such as honey; and
  • it contains at least 5 grams (g) of sugar per 100 millilitres (ml) in its ready to drink or diluted form; and
  • it’s either ready to drink, or to be drunk it must be diluted with water, mixed with crushed ice or processed to make crushed ice, mixed with carbon dioxide, or a combination of these; and
  • it’s bottled, canned or otherwise packaged so it’s ready to drink or be diluted; and
  • it has a content of 1.2% alcohol by volume (ABV) or less.

Your business must register for the Soft Drinks Industry Levy if you:

  • own the brand of a liable drink, or produce liable drinks under another brand, and you’re not a small producer
  • bottle, can or otherwise package liable drinks for someone else
  • You may need to register, report and pay the levy if you’re involved in bringing liable drinks into the UK from anywhere else.

The levy is accounted for via periodic returns.

HMRC Guidance is available here


Howard Watkinson

Howard has a significant indirect tax practice, specialising in VAT, excise and other customs duties. Howard’s tax practice sees him regularly instructed in the Tax Tribunals and Administrative Court.


With a long established background in tax fraud cases, the team at 2 Hare Court have established a formidable reputation in cases involving disputes over direct and indirect tax. 


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