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UKWA raises a glass to HMRC


The UK Warehousing Association (UKWA) has applauded HM Revenue & Customs’ decision to simplify excise alcohol law.
According to UKWA, “within ‘production’ tax warehouse regimes, brewers, cider-makers and wine-makers currently work in periods and make a single period return, whereas in the warehousing tax warehouse regime, duty has to be accounted for when products are entered for removal from the warehouse and duty has to be paid before the goods can be removed from the warehouse.”

While duty may be deferred for 28 days, 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, according to Alan Powell, UKWA’s advisor on Excise Duty issues.

“Excise law is long overdue an overhaul, so the proposals are very welcome,” Powell said. “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.”

HMRC’s plan to reform alcohol tax arrangements will be a welcome boost for the fulfillment sector, according to Peter Ward, UKWA chief executive.

Those plans will include:

  • simplifying tax across disparate alcohol regimes
  • digitising transactions in line with HMRC’s digital ambition for 2020
  • streamlining processes to support business growth

Ward said: “It is clear that the warehousing industry would welcome any changes that simplify and streamline the current process and reduce the administrative burden. The industry must consider the options and make its voice heard during the consultation process and UKWA will be taking soundings from its members to ensure that this happens.”

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