Your tax return: The deadline is looming

Leading packaging data services provider Ecoveritas is reminding businesses who may be affected by the plastic packaging tax (PPT) to ensure they are aware and prepared.

The second PPT return covers the accounting period from July 1st to September 30th. You must submit the return and pay any tax due no later than October 31st.

Companies have been able to register for the tax since April, and they were then expected to have completed their first quarter report by the end of last month. However, fewer than one in twenty liable businesses registered for the inaugural accounting, raising concerns that HM Revenue & Customs will not raise the £235 million expected, and fines for non-payment will hit firms.

Kathy Illingworth, Head of Sustainability Consulting at Ecoveritas, said: “Another accounting period of low registrations will see policymakers come under fresh pressure. DEFRA will surely be keen to rachet up the pressure after some of the abysmal headlines and come down hard with penalties for late or non-filed returns.

Businesses should look to partner with a packaging data specialist that can consistently deliver a highly efficient and transparent service without the need to scale up to meet the requirements.

“There are specific steps that businesses need to take to prepare for the tax, such as checking existing records, ensuring they can accurately verify the source and composition of the plastic packaging and considering if it is possible to switch to alternatives,” said Kathy.

“You may be charged significant penalties if you do not submit your return or pay the tax in time, and you’ll also be charged interest on late payments. Late payment interest is applied from the date the tax was due, right up until it’s paid.” The levy, announced in the 2018 Budget by then-chancellor Philip Hammond, is designed to incentivise businesses to use recycled plastic in the production of plastic packaging.

Businesses manufacturing or importing 10 tonnes or more a year of plastic packaging that contains less than 30 per cent recycled plastic will be taxed at £200 a tonne. Plastic packaging containing at least 30 per cent recycled material are exempt from the tax.

Ecoveritas recently launched a data collection vehicle (DCV) to support UK businesses through the first reporting quarter. This tool captures robust, quality data and  allows manufacturers, retailers, and brands to collate this data efficiently so they can accurately calculate their tax liability.

“Our DCV is free to use and enables companies to map the data they currently have onto the tool,” said Kathy. “It provides a great framework for collating the data metrics required while highlighting missing data, allowing businesses to adjust their data ahead of submission.”

From data that is required from internal sources or your supply chain, the DCV tool is separated into primary, secondary, and tertiary packaging to make data collection easier.

For more information on how Ecoveritas is supporting UK businesses with PPT, visit www.ecoveritas.com.

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