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 register to send a return to HMRC every quarter.


Your business must register for the Soft Drinks Industry Levy if you:

  • own the brand of a liable drink, or produce liable drinks under another brand, and you’re not a small producer

  • bottle, can or otherwise package liable drinks for someone else

If you’ve produced liable drinks in the past, but you don’t produce any liable drinks after 6 April 2018, you don’t have to register for the levy as a producer.


You may need to register, report and pay the levy if you’re involved in bringing liable drinks into the UK from anywhere else, including the Isle of Man and Channel Islands.


If any of your liable drinks are packaged by someone outside the UK, and you bring liable drinks back into the UK, you may need to register, report and pay the levy.


If you produce less than one million litres of liable drinks


You’re classed as a small producer and don’t need to register for the levy if all the following apply:

  • you, and anyone connected to you, produced less than one million litres (worldwide) of liable drinks over the past 12 rolling months (including before 6 April 2018)

  • you, and anyone connected to you, won’t produce over one million litres of liable drinks in the next 30 days

You can choose to register for the levy if you use a contract packager. You’ll get a registration number which you can give to them so that they won’t have to pay the levy on your drinks.


You must register as a producer if, at the end of any month, the amount of liable drinks you’ve produced over the past 12 rolling months (including before 6 April 2018) is more than one million litres.


If, over the past 12 rolling months, you’ve produced more than one million litres of liable drinks but have started to produce fewer liable drinks, you might need to register from 6 April 2018. When your production goes below one million litres over the past 12 rolling months, you can cancel your registration. You can then choose to register as a small producer if you use a contract packager.


Connected persons


A person is connected with you if they are:

  • your husband, wife or civil partner

  • your relatives (not including nephews, nieces, uncles or aunts) and their husbands, wives or civil partners

  • your husband’s, wife’s or civil partner’s relatives and their husbands, wives or civil partners

  • your business partners and their husbands, wives, civil partners and relatives (if this applies)

  • companies that you control, either by yourself or with any of the persons listed above

  • trustees of a settlement of which you are a settlor, or of which a person who is still alive and who is connected with you is a settlor

The Return


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.


What you need to include on your return


Regulation 22 of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy Regulations 2018 stipulates as follows:


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:

  • packaged and removed from your premises

  • made available for sale (or free of charge)

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.