What is the Plastic Packaging Tax?

We published a blog post on the Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT) in November 2021.

Essentially, if you make or import plastic packaging with less that 30% recycled plastic, you need to pay the levy. This applies even if you import packaging that already contains goods. For example, if you import food or drink in packaging, you pay the tax on the packaging. Similarly, you have to pay it on single-use plastic items such as bin liners and disposable cups.

The tax is charged at £200 per metric tonne. If you import or make more than 10 tonnes of packaging per year, you need to register for PPT. If you expect to make or import that amount within the next 30 days, you also need to register.

There’s one thing you must be particularly careful about. If you are not a manufacturer or importer of plastic packaging, but you are in the supply chain, you need to be vigilant. If you know (or ought to know) the tax has not been paid, then you could be liable for paying PPT.

About Plastic Packaging Tax Returns

This is what we know about making you Plastic Packaging Tax returns.

Once you exceed the 10 tonne threshold and you have registered for Plastic Packaging Tax you are required to submit a return to HMRC 4 times a year.

Your returns cover a quarterly accounting period:-

  • 1 April to 30 June
  • 1 July to 30 September
  • 1 October to 31 December
  • 1 January to 31 March

You should submit the return and pay the tax due no later than the last working day of the month following the end of each accounting period.

What information do I need to complete PPT Returns?

To complete Plastic Packaging Tax returns, you need to know the weight in kilograms of plastic packaging that:

  • Has been made in the UK
  • You have imported into the UK
  • That you have directly exported (or plan to directly export) in the next 12 months (this allows to cancel or postpone a liability)
  • You’ve imported for the immediate packaging of human medicines (this is exempt)
  • Contains at least 30% recycled plastic (another exemption)

What happens if I don’t comply with PPT?

If you fail to register for PPT, or you don’t file or pay a Plastic Packaging Tax Return, you can be hit with a fixed penalty of £500. You’ll also have to pay a daily penalty of £40 for each extra day of non-compliance. In addition, if you pay late, interest is payable from the date the tax was due.

Where can I get more help with my Plastic Packaging Tax Return?

The Gov.uk website has detailed guidance on submitting your PPT return. However, if you would like any help or advice, please feel free to speak to your THP account manager.

Need further advice on any of the topics being discussed? Get in touch and see how we can help.

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    About Ben Locker

    Ben Locker is a copywriter who specialises in business-to-business marketing, writing about everything from software and accountancy to construction and power tools. He co-founded the Professional Copywriters’ Network, the UK’s association for commercial writers, and is named in Direct Marketing Association research as ‘one of the copywriters who copywriters rate’.

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