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Government publishes ‘sugar tax’ guidance ahead of its introduction on 6 April

Ahead of its introduction on 6 April, the government has published guidance on how to pay the so-called ‘sugar tax’ and file Soft Drinks Industry Levy returns.

The government announced the Soft Drinks Industry Levy during the 2016 Budget, with the stated aim of tackling childhood obesity.

The Levy will be charged on volumes according to total sugar content, with a main rate charge of 18p per litre for drinks containing above five grams of sugar per 100 millilitres, and a higher rate charge of 24p per litre for drinks with more than eight grams of sugar per 100 millilitres.

Commenting on the issue, Ben Reynolds, Deputy Chief Executive of food charity Sustain, said: ‘We championed a sugary drinks tax primarily to benefit children’s health, and already we have seen a rapid reaction from the soft drinks industry in reformulating products.

‘Whilst this is only one way to tackle the problem, we hope that the higher price of sugary drinks and increased awareness leads to less consumption of sweet and sugary products.’

Using the new guidance, companies will be able to check whether their product is liable for the Levy, and how much will need to be paid. It also outlines when and how to register for the Levy, and details the information that must be included on a Soft Drinks Industry Levy return.

Soft Drinks Industry Levy guidance is here.

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