Freight News, Logistics

HMRC to overhaul ancient alcohol regime

[ July 11, 2016   //   ]

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has unveiled plans to overhaul the law governing warehousing of excise alcohol – just a quarter century after first proposing the idea.

The plan, which is in “pre-consultation” would simplify tax across disparate alcohol regimes, automate transactions in line with HMRC’s digital ambition for 2020 and streamline processes.

Alan Powell, advisor on excise duty issues to the UK Warehousing Associaiton (UKWA) said the move was very welcome. “There are currently far too many different bureaucratic and often ancient obligations to trade in excise goods in different regimes, including requirements for licenses, registrations, approvals, authorisations and making entry of premises and plant.  It is confusing for HMRC as well as the industry.”

He added that changes were planned by the government in the early 1990s but, when the Labour party came to power in 1997, were dropped because there was insufficient legislative room in the new government’s programme.

“There are now a range of significant proposals by HMRC for streamlining application processes, amendments to approvals and consistency of conditions,”  Alan Powell adds.  This includes the suggested consolidation of all alcohol returns and payments.

The regime also differs for companies that produce alcoholic goods such as brewers or wine-makers, who currently make a single period return, and warehousers, who must account for duty when goods are entered for removal from the warehouse.

The duty may be deferred for 28 days but the accounting warrants have to be entered daily, unless HMRC has approved twice-monthly ‘scheduling’ – which has no statutory basis and is, in effect, a concession.

ukwa alan powell resized


Tags: ,