Record keeping for Cider Duty (Excise Notice 162b)

Records you must keep if you’re liable for Cider Duty.


You must keep and produce a record of your business activities. HMRC may examine:

  • profit and loss and trading statements
  • management accounts and reports
  • balance sheets and trading forecasts
  • internal and external auditor’s reports
  • any record you keep for a business purpose

Records you must keep

Your normal business records will usually have the information we need, or you should be able to adapt them so that they will.

The following section has the force of law under Regulation 6 of the Revenue Traders (Accounts and Records) Regulations 1992.

You must keep records that show:

  • materials used (including additives)
  • samples
  • domestic consumption
  • imports
  • exports
  • receipts
  • details of any stock-takes, including details of any surplus, deficiency or other discrepancy revealed by the stock-take
  • details of processes and operations including:
    • fermentation
    • additions
    • drawing off
    • bottling and packaging
  • quantities and strength of wine that is:
    • produced and received
    • sent out from registered premises
    • returned to registered premises
    • constructively removed
    • lost or destroyed on registered premises
    • rendered sparkling

Duty accounts

You must keep a duty account, which is a summary of the duty due in each accounting period.

The following section has the force of law under Regulation 5(1) of the Revenue Traders (Accounts and Records) Regulations 1992.

You must keep an account that holds the:

  • amount of duty on all cider that leaves duty suspension
  • amount of duty you’ve reclaimed on spoilt cider that’s been destroyed or reprocessed
  • amount of any under-declarations from previous periods
  • amount of any over-declarations from previous periods
  • net amount of duty due for the period, the date and method of payment

How long to keep your records

You must keep your business records for 6 years. But you can ask HMRC if you can keep your records for a shorter period if this causes you:

  • storage problems
  • unreasonable expense

You must have our agreement before you destroy any of your records if they’re less than 6 years old. Contact the excise helpline if you’re unsure.

Storing original documents

You’ll not have to keep your records in any set way as long as you can produce copies and you let us see them when we need to. Your records must be accessible for at least 6 years.

Visits by HMRC

We’ll make visits to make sure you’re assessing and accounting for duty correctly on all cider leaving your registered premises. We’ll audit your commercial, accounting and management control systems, and carry out physical checks on production, stock and movements of cider in duty suspension.

We’ll usually make appointments before we visit. We may visit without an appointment but our officers will give the reason for this.

At any reasonable time, you must let our officers into any area of the registered premises. You must make sure that all your security personnel are aware that we may visit without an appointment. All of our officers carry identification and will show this when they arrive.

Published 11 July 2018