Soft Drinks Industry Levy ― Overview

By Tolley

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

  • Soft Drinks Industry Levy ― Overview
  • Drinks that are liable to the levy
  • Drinks that are not liable to the levy
  • What is the levy
  • Bringing liable drinks into the UK
  • Moving drinks between the UK and the Isle of Man
  • When is the levy payable?
  • Registering for the levy
  • Records
  • Submitting Levy returns

The Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) came into effect from 6 April 2018 and this guidance note provides a summary of the main information / requirements provided by HMRC and links to further information produced by HMRC on this levy.

Drinks that are liable to the levy

A drink will be liable to SDIL if it meets all of the following criteria:

  • sugar has been added during production, or anything (other than fruit juice, vegetable juice and milk) that contains sugar, such as honey. The term sugar includes:
    • sucrose
    • glucose
    • fructose
    • lactose
    • galactose
  • it contains at least five grams (g) of sugar per 100 millilitres (ml) in its ready to drink or diluted form
  • it is either ready to drink, or must be diluted with water, mixed with crushed ice or processed to make crushed ice, mixed with carbon dioxide, or a combination of these in order to drink
  • it is bottled, canned or otherwise packaged so it is ready to drink or be diluted
  • it has a content of 1.2% alcohol by volume (ABV) or less

SI 2018/41

Drinks that are not liable to the levy

Drinks that were transported to the UK before 6 April 2018 are not liable to the levy.

The following drinks are not liable to the levy:

  • drinks containing a minimum of 75% milk. For a drink to be treated as a milk-based product for the purposes of these provisions, it must contain at least 75ml of milk per 100ml of prepared drink. Cream is not included. The term milk includes:

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