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HMRC internal manual

Beer Guidance

Beer Duty: Return and payment

Sections 15 and 16 of Notice 226 give full details on furnishing returns and making payment. The legal provisions for this are at regulations 8 - 12 of The Excise Goods (Holding, Movement and Duty Point) Regulations 2010 and regulations 20 - 21 of the Beer Regulations 1993.

Registered brewers and packagers will render a return (EX46) for each calendar month. Exceptionally, when the revenue may be at risk, shorter accounting periods of one week can be required, for example, earlier failure to furnish or defaults or likely insolvency.

Before imposing this requirement managers should consult the Alcohol Policy team in order to be satisfied that there are sufficient grounds to justify this action.

A specimen copy of a return can be found in section 34 of Notice 226. Returns are to be sent to the Beer Duty Accounting Centre (BDAC) at Cumbernauld. BDAC is responsible for sending out return forms to all registered brewers and packagers and for monitoring payments. They liaise with the Debt Management and Banking Unit in cases of non-compliance. An online form is also available at GOV.UK.

Note. A brewer or packager may be liable to a penalty if their return is inaccurate and, as a result, they do not pay enough duty. Further information can be found in BEER10220 ‘Inaccurate returns’ and paragraph 15.8 of Notice 226.

Person liable to pay the duty

The person liable to pay the duty will be the registered brewer or packager who holds the beer at the duty point, whether or not they are the owners of the beer.

*Registered persons, despatching beer in duty suspension to any of the following, should obtain a certificate of receipt within 30 days of despatch:

  • other registered premises
  • excise warehouses.

If the consignor does not hold the receipt within the specified period he will be liable to pay the duty on the beer regardless of whether the duty will be or has been subsequently accounted for by the person holding the beer at the duty point.

Note. UK and EU movements of beer to other approved premises/warehouses must be through the Excise Movement and Control System (EMCS), unless the movement qualifies for the simplification procedures for certain UK intra-company movements. Under EMCS, an electronic receipt should be obtained within 5 days of the beer being received by the consignee. The 5 days rule also applies to registered persons despatching beer within the UK under the simplified procedures (see paragraphs 9.12 and 9.13 of Notice 226). The legal provisions for these requirements are in The Excise Goods (Holding, Movement and Duty Point) Regulations 2010. Further information on EMCS and movements to other Member States can be found in Notice 197

Time and Method of Payment

Registered brewers and packagers must pay the duty on the 25th day of the month following the month for which duty was accounted.

Registered persons normally pay the duty by direct debit. Where accounting periods of one week have been imposed because of revenue risk, payment should be made with each weekly return.