Air Passenger Duty ― overview

By Tolley
  • (Updated for Budget 2020)

The following Value Added Tax guidance note by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Air Passenger Duty ― overview
  • What is APD?
  • Rates of duty
  • Exemptions
  • Connecting flights
  • Registering for APD
  • Records and returns
  • Reviews and appeals

This guidance note provides an overview of Air Passenger Duty (APD). This note should be read in conjunction with the APD ― registration, Air Passenger Duty ― annual accounting and special accounting scheme and Air Passenger Duty ― records and returns guidance notes.

What is APD?

APD is an excise duty that is levied on the carriage of chargeable passengers from a UK airport who are travelling on a chargeable aircraft. APD is due when a flight liable to APD occurs and it must be paid by the operator of the aircraft. The amount payable will be calculated based on the final destination of the aircraft and the class of travel of the passengers.

Air Passenger Duty Regulations 1994, SI 1994/1738 (as amended); Air Passenger Duty (Connected Flights) Order 1994, SI 1994/1821 (as amended); Aircraft Operators (Accounts and Records) Regulations 1994, SI 1994/1737 (as amended); Air Passenger Duty (Extended Schemes) Regulations 1995, SI 1995/1216; Air Passenger Duty (Designated Region of the United Kingdom) Order 2001, SI 2001/808; De Voil Indirect Tax Service V19.101; Excise Notice 550 Opens in a new window

Chargeable flight

With effect from 1 April 2013 all aircraft with a fixed wing and an authorised take off weight of at least 5.7 tonnes that are fuelled by jet / aviation fuel and carry passengers regardless of whether they paid for the flight, are chargeable to APD. Certain flights are, however, exempt from APD (see Exemptions below).

Before 1 April 2013 certain rules governed whether an aircraft was liable to pay APD and the rules can be found in Excise Notice 550 Opens in a new window, Appendix 2.

Chargeable passenger From 1 April 2013 a chargeable passenger is anyone who travels on a chargeable aircraft who is not exempt

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