Plastic packaging tax starts 1 April 2022

by Gavin Hooker

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If you are a business that manufactures or imports 10 or more tonnes of plastic packaging over a 12-month period you will need to register for the tax. This is regardless of whether you will have to pay any tax.

This includes importers of packaging which already contains goods, such as plastic bottles filled with drinks. Where the packaging you import already contains other goods, the tax only applies to the plastic packaging itself.

The legislation to introduce the new Plastic Packaging Tax is included in the Finance Act 2021. Secondary legislation will be introduced later in the year. Until the secondary legislation becomes law, the contents of the HMRC Policy Paper are subject to change. More guidance will be published later in the year. You must continue to comply with all regulatory requirements for plastic packaging in other legislation.

HMRC Guidance published on 19 September provides a high-level overview of Plastic Packaging Tax.

If you are a business that manufactures or imports 10 or more tonnes of plastic packaging over a 12-month period you will need to register for the tax. This is regardless of whether you will have to pay any tax. This includes importers of packaging which already contains goods, such as plastic bottles filled with drinks. Where the packaging you import already contains other goods, the tax only applies to the plastic packaging itself.

If you are a business that needs to register for the tax, you will need to pay Plastic Packaging Tax on any packaging that contains less than 30% recycled plastic. The tax will be charged at £200 per tonne. For example, if you manufacture 10 tonnes of plastic packaging, and 1 tonne contains less than 30% recycled plastic, you will need to pay £200.

The online service to register and pay will be available on 1 April 2022 when the tax takes effect.

Find more information on the scope of the tax, who is liable to register and pay, and other requirements.

The content in this blog is correct as at 20 September 2021.

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