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Get ready to file plastic packaging tax returns

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Published: 28 Jun 2022 Update History

Businesses that manufacture plastic packaging in the UK, or import plastic packaging into the UK, may need to submit a plastic packaging tax return by 29 July 2022.

The UK’s plastic packaging tax (PPT) took effect from 1 April 2022:

  • The first PPT return will cover the period from the date the business became liable to register for the tax to 30 June 2022.
  • The return will become available to submit on the government gateway from 1 July 2022.
  • The deadline for completion of the return, and payment of any PPT due, is 29 July 2022.

Although PPT is only payable on plastic packaging components which contain less than 30% recycled plastic, a business will still be required to register for PPT if it:

  • expects to import into the UK or manufacture in the UK 10 tonnes or more of finished plastic packaging components in the next 30 days; or
  • has imported into the UK or manufactured in the UK 10 tonnes or more of finished plastic packaging components since 1 April 2022.

Businesses must register within 30 days of triggering the registration requirement.

Groups of companies can register and submit PPT returns as a group by appointing a UK-established representative member. It is important to note that each company in the group must individually trigger PPT registration requirements.

Once registered, businesses or groups can submit their PPT returns through the government gateway.

To complete the return, a business liable to PPT will need records to show the total weight (in kilograms) of any finished plastic packaging components that, in the period, it:

  • manufactured in the UK;
  • imported into the UK;
  • directly exported or that it expects to directly export in the next 12 months (to cancel or defer a liability);
  • manufactured or imported for use in the immediate packaging of licensed human medicines, that were not and will not be directly exported (to claim an exemption); and
  • manufactured or imported that contained at least 30% recycled plastic content, that will not be directly exported (to claim an exemption).

Businesses can also claim credit for PPT paid in a previous accounting period that another business in the supply chain has later converted or exported, although not on its first return.

Failure to comply with the requirements of PPT – including failure to register, file or pay a return – could lead to a fixed penalty of £500, with an additional daily penalty of £40 for each day the business continues to fail to comply.

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