New sugar tax

Małgorzata Górska-Welikan, Lawyer, Tax Advisory Department
On 25 August 2020 the President signed an Act amending certain acts in connection with the promotion of healthy consumer choices. Under this act, the provisions on the new tax on selected food products (the so-called sugar tax) will come into force on 1 January 2021.

Sugar tax - key assumptions

Under the new provisions, entrepreneurs will pay tax on beverages:

  • with the active substance - caffeine or taurine,
  • with sugar or sweetener.

The obligation to pay the new sugar fee will arise when the products are put on sale. This sugar tax will be payable by natural and legal persons as well as organisational units without legal personality:

  • selling beverages to retailers;
  • who are producers who retail, purchasers of beverages within an intra-Community supply of goods or importers of such beverages;
  • who are ordering parties, if the composition of the beverages subject to this tax constitutes part of the contract concluded by the producer and if it concerns the production of those beverages for the ordering party.

The fee shall not cover, inter alia, medical devices, registered food supplements as well as baby food and infant formulae.

Rules for sugar tax calculation

The Act provides for the introduction of a fee on sweetened beverages, which will be divided into fixed and variable parts. The fixed fee is 50 gr per litre of a beverage with added sugar or sweetener, 10 gr per litre of a beverage with added active substance (caffeine or taurine). The variable fee is 5 gr per gram of sugar over 5 grams/100 ml, calculated per litre of beverage. The fee shall be paid on a monthly basis.

Sugar tax - penalties

If the tax is not paid within the deadline, the head of the tax office will be obliged to determine, by decision, an additional fee (penalty fee) in the amount corresponding to 50% of the fee due. The sugar fee for sweetened beverages and a financial penalty for failure to pay it on time will constitute NFZ revenue (96.5%) and state budget revenue (3.5%).

Taxation of alcoholic beverages

The new legislation also imposes a fee on entrepreneurs selling alcoholic beverages in bottles not exceeding 300 ml (so-called monkeys). Entrepreneurs conducting wholesale trade in alcoholic beverages will be obliged to calculate and pay the aforementioned fee to the account of the competent tax office no later than by the end of the month following the end of a six-month period. It is to amount to PLN 25 per litre of 100% alcohol sold in bottles of up to 300 ml.

The Act provides also for an additional fee to be charged for not paying the fees on time. The revenue from fees for alcoholic beverages in bottles up to 300 ml and financial penalties for failure to pay the fees on time will constitute 50% of the NFZ's revenue and 50% of the revenue of the municipalities in which such beverages are sold.

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Agata Nieżychowska
Agata Nieżychowska
Tax Director

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