Guidance

Completing your Plastic Packaging Tax return

What you need to include in your Plastic Packaging Tax return and how to correct an error in a previous return.

Once you have met the 10-tonne threshold and registered your liability for Plastic Packaging Tax you’ll need to submit a return to HMRC 4 times a year.

Your returns must cover an accounting period. The accounting periods are:

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

You must submit the return and pay any tax due no later than the last working day of the month following the end of the accounting period you are reporting.

For example, your return for the accounting period 1 April 2022 to 30 June 2022 must be submitted to HMRC on or before Friday 29 July 2022.

You must give all weights in kgs and round them down to the nearest kg on your return.

What you will need to include on your return

The total weight of finished plastic packaging components manufactured in the UK in the accounting period

Include any packaging components you’ve reported on a previous tax return as being intended for direct export but they:

  • will now be supplied within the UK
  • have not been exported within 12 months from the date of manufacture

Do not include:

You must also not include excluded packaging components designed to be:

  • used in the long-term storage of goods
  • an integral part of the goods
  • reused for the presentation of goods

The total weight of finished plastic packaging components imported into the UK in the accounting period

Include any packaging components you’ve reported on a previous tax return as being intended for direct export but they:

  • will now be supplied within the UK
  • have not been exported within 12 months from the date of import

Do not include:

You must also not include excluded packaging components designed to be:

  • used in the long-term storage of goods
  • an integral part of the goods
  • reused for the presentation of goods

The total weight of finished plastic packaging components not subject to the tax in the accounting period

This will include packaging containing at least 30% recycled plastic content, any immediate medicinal plastic packaging components and packaging components being directly exported by you. Each of these are individually reported further on in the tax return.

The total weight of finished plastic packaging components manufactured or imported for use in the immediate packaging of licenced human medicines in the accounting period

Find out more about plastic packaging for human medicinal products.

The total weight of finished plastic packaging components manufactured or imported in this accounting period which are due for export by you

This includes components which either:

  • have been exported directly by you during the same accounting period as they were manufactured or imported
  • are due to be exported directly by you within the next 12 months

The total weight of any finished plastic packaging components that contain at least 30% recycled plastic content in the accounting period

Find out more about recycled plastic and how to work out the percentage of recycled plastic.

The total value of taxed plastic packaging components for which a credit is being claimed in the accounting period

This must be given in pounds sterling (£).

Credits will be for packaging components where:

  • tax has been paid in a previous accounting period and has subsequently been exported or has been converted into a different plastic packaging component
  • they have been manufactured or imported in the same accounting period as being exported by someone else, or converted into a different plastic packaging component

The time limit for claiming a tax credit is 2 years from the manufacture or import of the plastic packaging component.

Find out more about claiming a credit for Plastic Packaging Tax.

The total weight of chargeable plastic packaging components after deductions

The deductions you must make are:

  • the total weight of finished plastic packaging components which are not subject to the tax
  • the deferral of the tax liability of packaging components intended for direct export
  • any tax credits claimed for the accounting period

The tax due for this period

This must be given in pounds sterling (£).

It will be calculated automatically using the values you have given.

A declaration that the information is true and correct

You must declare that all of the information you’ve provided is true and correct to the best of your knowledge.

Submitting returns and payments for a group of companies

If you’ve been appointed as the group’s representative member, at the end of each accounting period, you should submit a single return and payment on behalf of all members of the group.

The figures included on the return should be the total for all the members of the group, for each item. You should make sure each member keeps records to support the figures you use.

Correcting an error in a previous tax return

If you submit a return that includes incorrect information, you should correct it as soon as possible and within 4 years from the due date of the tax return which needs correcting.

More information about how to correct an error will be provided once available.

If you do not submit your tax return or pay in time

You may be charged penalties if you do not submit your return or pay the tax in time.

You’ll also be charged interest on late payments. Late payment interest is calculated on the outstanding tax from the date the amount became due, and payable to the date the amount is actually paid.

Published 4 November 2021
Last updated 21 April 2022 + show all updates
  1. Guidance about submitting returns and payments for a group of companies has been added.

  2. Information in 'The total weight of finished plastic packaging components imported into the UK in the accounting period' section of the guide has been updated.

  3. Information has been added about what you will need to include on your return.

  4. Updated the section 'Correcting an error in a previous tax return' to explain you should make corrections as soon as possible and within 4 years from the due date of the tax return you are correcting.

  5. Added translation

  6. You must include components in the total weight of finished plastic packaging components manufactured in or imported to the UK, if you've reported them on a previous tax return as being intended for direct export but they have not been exported within 12 months from the date of manufacture or import.

  7. Links have been added to additional guidance on types of packaging, recycled packaging and claiming a credit.

  8. First published.