Sugar tax from January 2021

Entrepreneurs in Poland do not have a sweet life when it comes to taxes, but this statement has never been so literal. From January 1, 2021, the so-called “Sugar levy” – a new form of taxation of sugar-containing goods (specifically sweetened and energy drinks). The name is a bit misleading, as beverages sweetened with sweeteners such as stevia or calorie-free sweeteners are also charged. It is bitter news not only for manufacturers but also for suppliers, buyers and consumers.

Sugar tax – how much exactly is it?

The sugar fee has two components – a fixed and a variable. In accordance with the provisions of the act signed by President Andrzej Duda, the sugar tax in practice is as follows:

  • Solid part – 0,50 PLN per liter of drink in which the sweetener content does not exceed 5 grams (technically – it’s a teaspoon of sugar) per 100 milliliters of drink. This charge does not apply to beverages that contain more than 20% fruit and / or vegetable juices;
  • Variable part – 0,05 PLN for each gram of sugar or sweetener above the limit described in the solid part (i.e. over 5 g/100 ml);
  • Energy drinks containing taurine or caffeine are subject to an additional fee of 0.10 PLN per liter.

Sugar tax – benefits in health care

The draft law on the sugar fee is not new – it was created in December 2019, but due to the pandemic situation, the President signed the law only on August 25, 2020. The act is to promote pro-health consumer choices and – what is equally important – to support the National Health Fund above all. Pursuant to the provisions of the act – 96.5% of sugar tax revenues and financial sanctions imposed for failure to pay the fee on time will go to the National Health Fund. The remaining 3.5% will constitute the income of the state budget.

Sugar tax – who has to pay and when

The sugar fee must be paid once a month, along with the obligation to submit information by electronic means – by the 25th day of the month following the month in which the fee is charged. Another important issue is the fact that it is the taxpayers who are to calculate the fee themselves. If the payment is not made to the competent tax office on time, the head of the tax office will make a decision on imposing an additional fee – in accordance with the regulations, amounting to 50% of the due fee.

Who exactly pays the sugar tax as a taxpayer?

• Entities selling beverages (to retail outlets or retailers) and entities purchasing beverages intra-Community / importing;
• Beverage contracting entities (if the composition of the beverage falls within the scope of the contract concluded with the manufacturer and relates to production for the contracting entity).

Thanks to this information, you can avoid paying dearly for sugar from the new year.