Guidance

Soft Drinks Industry Levy returns and records (notice 2)

What you need to include in your Soft Drinks Industry Levy return and what records to keep.

If you’re a producer or packager of drinks that are liable for the Soft Drinks Industry Levy, or you need to report drinks that have been brought into the UK, you’ll need to send a return to HMRC every quarter.

The returns are for fixed reporting periods ending June, September, December and March. You must submit the return and pay any levy due within 30 days of the end of the reporting period.

If you do not submit the return in time, HMRC can charge you an estimate of what you owe.

If you’re registered for the levy and have nothing to report for a period, you should submit a nil return, unless you’re only registered as a small producer.

How to submit your return

Under regulation 22 of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy Regulations 2018, this section has force of law.

You need to be registered for the levy before you can submit a return.

Returns can only be submitted when the accounting period you’re reporting for is over.

What you need to include on your return

Under regulation 22 of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy Regulations 2018, this section has force of law.

On your return, you must include how many litres of liable drinks you need to report. You’ll need to report drinks that are liable for each levy band separately on your return.

You must include how many litres of liable drinks were:

  • packaged for yourself or someone else (not including amounts packaged for small producers)
  • packaged for each small producer, including their Soft Drinks Industry Levy registration number
  • brought into the UK (not including those produced by small producers)
  • brought into the UK from small producers

If you’re reporting diluted soft drinks, you must report the amount of ready-to-drink litres made when it’s diluted according to the dilution ratio stated on the packaging.

You must also include how many litres of liable drinks you’ve paid the levy on, or that you’re reporting in the current return, and are claiming a credit for because they were:

  • exported, or are expected to be exported
  • lost or destroyed

Records you need to keep

For each reporting period, you must get and keep records of:

  • the amount of litres of liable drinks in each levy band
  • the amount of levy you need to pay
  • liable drinks that you need to report but you’ll claim a levy credit for, and how any levy credits were calculated
  • any adjustments or corrections made for previous returns, including which reporting period the return was for and the amount you need to pay as a result

For each delivery of liable drinks to all premises where you store liable drinks (including registered warehouses), you must get and keep records that show:

  • whether the premises have been nominated as a registered warehouse with HMRC
  • the amount delivered, in litres
  • the date of delivery
  • the date that they were removed from the premises
  • details of who:
    • made the delivery
    • transported the drinks from the premises

If you’re a packager of liable drinks, you must get and keep records for each reporting period of:

  • how many litres of liable drinks were produced by small producers
  • the amount of litres of liable drinks that were first either:

You must keep all records for 6 years, starting from the last day of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy reporting period that the records are for.

Information about how to correct returns will be available from September 2018.

Published 3 April 2018
Last updated 11 September 2018 + show all updates
  1. The section on how to correct an error on a return already sent, has been removed as the information was out of date.
  2. This guide has been updated with a link to the Soft Drinks Industry Levy returns service.
  3. The section headed 'Reference number' has been added and bank details have been added to the section headed 'ways to pay'.
  4. First published.