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SARS to collect sugar tax from April 2018

SARS to collect sugar tax from April 2018

CAPETWON: The South African revenue service (SARS) will collect the Sugary Beverages Levy (SBL) as from April 1 next year.

The levy falls under the Rates and Monetary Amounts and Revenue Laws Amendment Bill, 2017, as passed in Parliament on December 5. Part 7A of Schedule No. 1 to the Customs and Excise Act, 1964, provides for a health promotion levy on sugary beverages which have been manufactured in or imported into South Africa. Imported products will be taxed when they are cleared for home consumption and locally manufactured products will be taxed at source. SBL returns and payments can be submitted electronically through SARS eFiling and will also be accepted at Customs and Excise branches. Licensing and registration of manufacturers of sugary beverages will take place from February 2018. Only commercial manufacturers that produce sugary beverages with a total annual sugar content in excess of 500kg per year need to be licensed and pay the SBL. Non commercial producers below this threshold will be expected to register but will not be subject to the SBL.

The levy is fixed at 2.1 cents per gram of the sugar content that exceeds 4 grams per 100ml, which means the first 4 grams per 100ml are levy free. The levy is part of government’s programme to prevent and control non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and assist in the prevention and control of obesity.

SARS will engage industry stakeholders during roadshows to guide them through the process. Dates for the roadshows will be published on the website in January 2018.