Changes to Spoilt Beer Excise Duty Relief - PKF Francis Clark
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Changes to Spoilt Beer Excise Duty Relief

The necessary closure of pubs across the country continues to have a heavy toll on landlords and brewers alike. A small but welcome simplification is a temporary change to the process of destroying beer and claiming excise duty relief.

Beer is eligible for excise relief when it meets all of the following conditions:

  • The beer is duty paid
  • It has become spoilt/unfit for use
  • It is presented for duty reclaim in the same container in which it left duty suspension (non-bulk only). Beer can be transferred to other containers subject to HMRC approval

The relief is normally claimed by the registered brewer or registered holder who accounted for the duty. For publicans, when all the steps are correctly followed, the brewer will typically either credit a pub with the value of the excise duty of any destroyed beer or replace the goods with fresh stock when safe to do so.

In normal circumstances beer destroyed in a pub cellar is typically not the registered premises. As such, there must be a complete audit trail that confirms the beer was duty paid and has been destroyed. Furthermore a responsible representative from the brewery, also referred to as an Authorised Company Representative (ACR), must be onsite to supervise.

Due to the social distancing requirements currently in force, brewers can now appoint the publican or an agreed person at the premises to carry out the destruction, without the need for an ACR to be present.

The brewer needs to satisfy themselves that the destruction has taken place, and could be confirmed in the form of a video recording.

The full relief procedure under normal circumstance is detailed in Excise Notice 226 – Section 20: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/excise-notice-226-beer-duty

The temporary amendment to the destruction rule is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/destroying-spoilt-beer-during-coronavirus-covid-19

Trade groups, including the British Beer & Pub Association have cautioned that pubs should obtain written permission from their brewer or beer supplier before any destruction is performed in order to make certain the excise relief is processed correctly.

That being said, businesses should make full use of available reliefs to ensure we all have the option of celebrating with a pint when Covid-19 is beaten.

FEATURING: Liam Dushynsky
Liam is an Indirect Tax Partner specialising in VAT, Customs Duty and other indirect tax matters. Liam joined PKF Francis Clark in 2005 as part… read more
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