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Ireland Introduces New Sugary Drinks Tax

by Jason Gorringe, Tax-News.com, London

03 May 2018


Ireland's new sugar-sweetened drinks tax launched on May 1. The tax agency has released updated guidance on how businesses should comply with the measure.

The tax was originally due to enter into force on April 6, but implementation was delayed while the Government sought state aid approval from the European Commission. The Commission has now provided approval and the SSDT commenced on May 1.

The tax operates as an excise duty and will be administered on a self-assessment basis. As the guide explains, the SSDT will apply on the first supply of sugar-sweetened drinks in Ireland, with the supplier making the first supply liable for accounting for and paying the tax.

Revenue said that a supplier must register with Revenue in advance of making a first supply of sugar-sweetened drinks in Ireland. They must file returns within one month after the end of the accounting period during which the supplies were made.

A relief will be available where sugar-sweetened drinks sourced in Ireland are supplied outside Ireland on a commercial basis. To claim this relief, "exporters" will need to register with Revenue in advance of making supplies outside Ireland.

The tax will apply to non-alcoholic, water-based, and juice-based drinks with an added sugar content of five or more grams per 100 millilitres or above. Drinks with between five and eight grams of added sugar per litre will attract a tax of 20 percent. Drinks with a sugar content of eight grams or more per litre will be taxed at 30 percent.

Ahead of the SSDT's entry into force, the Irish Beverage Council said that three quarters of soft drinks sold in Ireland will not be subject to the tax.

Director Colm Jordan said: "In Ireland, 10 billion calories have been removed annually between 2005 and 2012 through voluntary sugar reduction in soft drinks. That is a 10 percent reduction in seven years. Today, soft drinks represent less than three percent of Ireland's calorific intake."

TAGS: tax | European Commission | Ireland | revenue guidance | accounting | tax thresholds | excise duty | Health tax | tax authority | tax rates | tax reform | European Union (EU) | Europe

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