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Changes to the miniature spirits levy and the sugar levy

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by Magdalena Szwarc and Adrian Maczura

17 November 2022


A bill amending the Alcohol Abuse and Sobriety Act, the Public Healthcare Act and certain other acts (UD443) was published on 18 October 2022. 

The bill deals with the levy on miniature spirits, i.e. alcoholic products sold in bottles of up to 300 ml, and the sugar levy, i.e. a levy on energy drinks and sweetened beverages. 
 

Sugar levy - changes (amendment of the Public Healthcare Act)


1. The bill clarifies what activities trigger the obligation to pay the sugar levy. The definition/scope of the term "introduction of beverages to the domestic market" has been changed and is to be understood to include:

  • the supply of beverages in Poland made in the course of business activities - activities similar to those specified in the VAT Act, i.e.: the transfer of the right to dispose of beverages as owner for a consideration, the transfer of beverages free of charge, and the transfer of beverages to the ordering party
  • the import or intra-Community acquisition of beverages by a manufacturer or supplier of beverages as part of activities classified in section 56 of the Polish Classification of Goods and Services (PKWiU) (food and beverage services). In the case of the supply of beverages in concentrated form, caterers with the status of beverage manufacturers are supposed to be exempted from the levy.

2. The bill clearly shifts the obligation to pay the levy to the entity at the beginning of the supply chain: from retailers and sellers of beverages for retail outlets to manufacturers, importers and intra-Community buyers of beverages.

3. The bill introduces the option of the reimbursement of the sugar levy in the case of an intra-Community supply or exports in respect of beverages for which the levy has been paid in Poland.

4. The bill fine-tunes certain aspects to make the Act more orderly and better organized, e.g. redefines the term 'beverage' and replaces the reference to the PKWiU with that to the Combined Nomenclature (CN); and introduces a more detailed definition of the term 'beverages in concentrated form'.

5. The bill differentiates entities not paying the sugar levy into those avoiding the payment of the levy, and those which act in good faith and promptly pay the due levy (sanctions will depend on the seriousness of the failure).

The miniature spirits levy – changes (amendment to the Alcohol Abuse and Sobriety Act)


1. The bill introduces the principle saying that any seller of miniature spirits required to pay the levy (or if another enterprise was required to pay it earlier) is required to provide the buyer –together with the invoice for such beverages– with information that the former is not required to pay the levy for the license to supply such beverages.

2. The bill clarifies when the levy becomes chargeable and makes it dependent on the date of supply.  The date of supply is to be the date:

  • when the alcoholic beverages are handed over to another enterprise being a retailer that has the license to sell alcoholic beverages intended for consumption outside the point of sale, including cases where such an enterprise has a license for the wholesale of alcoholic beverages.
  • when the alcoholic beverages are moved to the enterprise's retail outlet (by an enterprise holding both a wholesale and retail licence for such beverages).

3. The bill amends the ALK form and introduces the possibility of filing a single information return on all licenses held (for wholesale, for selling off the existing stocks).

4. As regards the proceedings concerning the levy relief, the optional penalty for failure to submit the information return or pay the levy in a timely manner will be abolished (if certain conditions are met). 

5. The bill clarifies the principle of the one-time nature of the levy.

6. The bill specifies cases in which no additional sanction fee will be charged.

7. The bill streamlines the process of reclaiming the portion of the levy charged on alcoholic beverages that have been returned by customers.
 

PIT and CIT – changes


According to the bill, the additional sanction fees in the amended amount, i.e. the fine for failing to meet the obligations arising from the Alcohol Abuse and Sobriety Act (Article 92 (21) of said Act) and the fine for failing to pay the levy referred to in Article 12i (1a) and (1b) of the Public Healthcare Act in a timely manner, will be non-tax-deductible.

 
If you have any questions about future changes, please contact us. 

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Magdalena Szwarc

Tax adviser (Poland)

Senior Associate

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Adrian Maczura

Tax adviser (Poland)

Associate Partner

+48 606 640 095

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