01.01.2021: Sugar tax

The sugar levy (sugar tax) is a new tribute effective from January 1, 2021. It covers certain drinks and syrups containing added sugars, sweeteners, caffeine or taurine.

Who pays the sugar tax?

Entities obliged to pay the sugar tax are: a natural person, a legal person and an organizational unit without legal personality which:

sells beverages to retail outlets,
produces, purchases and sells drinks as a retailer from other EU countries or outside the EU,
orders the production of a drink subject to a fee directly from the manufacturer, and if the composition of the drink subject to a fee is an element of the contract (the purchaser is obliged to pay the fee),

Important! In a situation where a counterparty sells beverages subject to the sugar tax and simultaneously carries out retail and wholesale sales, the fee should be deducted from all beverages sold to that counterparty.

The drinks which are not subject to the sugar tax are:

• medical goods,
• dietary supplements,
• food for special purposes, infant formulae and follow-on formulae,
• excise goods,
• goods containing more than 20% of fruit, vegetable or fruit-vegetable juice and containing less than or equal to 5 g of sugar per 100 ml of the beverage,
• carbohydrate-electrolyte solutions with a sugar content of less than or equal to 5 g per 100 ml of beverage,
• milk-based products and dairy foods (yoghurt, buttermilk, kefir, curdled milk, etc.).

How much is the tax?

According to the new provision, the sugar tax is the sum of two values, fixed and variable. For each liter of drink the fee is:

• 0.50 PLN for the content of sugars in an amount equal to or less than 5 g in 100 ml of the drink, or the content in any quantity of at least one sweetener,
• 0.05 PLN for each gram of sugars over 5 g in 100 ml of beverage per liter of beverage.

Drinks that contain caffeine or taurine are subject to an additional charge of 0.10 PLN, but not more than 1.2 PLN per 1 liter of beverage.

The lower fee applies to drinks containing more than 5 g of sugars in 100 ml:

• in which the mass fraction of fruit, vegetable or fruit-vegetable juice is not less than 20% of the raw material,
• which are carbohydrate-electrolyte solutions, for example, isotonic drinks.
These drinks will apply only a variable portion of the fee – 0.05 PLN for each gram of sugar over 5 g in 100 ml of beverage.
When calculating the fee, the sugar content in 100 ml of the drink is rounded up to a full gram.

When and on what account do you need to pay?

The sugar tax must be paid into the account of the head of the tax office competent for the entity’s place of residence or place of business. An additional obligation is to submit information on the amount of the fee using the PUESC system of the Polish Ministry of Finance until the 25th day of the month following the month to which the information relates.

The payment information should include:

• the period for which it is submitted,
• the place of submission – the name of the relevant tax office,
• the purpose of submission: (a) submission of information, (b) correction of information,
• details of the entity required to pay the fee: (a) name (company) or first and last name, (b) NIP, (c) first and last name, telephone number or e-mail address of the person to be contacted,
• properly estimated tax amount,
• the amount of the tax to be paid,
• information on the tax: (a) the total amount of the tax, (b) the amount of the tax for each drink, (c) the number of liters of drinks sold in a given period, broken down by drink, together with information on the caffeine, taurine, additives or sweeteners and the sugar content of 100 ml of the beverage, (d) the invoice numbers, the date of issue, NIP of the supplier or purchaser and the lot number if not stated on the invoice,
• date and signature of the obliged entity or person authorized by it,
• a statement that the information is the basis for issuing the enforcement order.

Attention! For late payment of the tax, the relevant tax authority will impose an additional fee of 50% of the amount of the fee due.
The proceedings connected with the base sugar tax and additional fees are regulated by the provisions of the Tax Code.

Legal basis:
Article 7 of the Act of February 14, 2020 on amendments to certain acts in connection with the promotion of healthy consumer choices

See also