On 1 January 2023, the new Excise Duty on Non-Reusable Plastic Packaging came into force. This tax is levied on non-recycled plastic, which has an impact on the entire supply chain and especially on food. Form 592 for Self-assessment and form A22 for Request for Refund have also been approved, regulating in turn the registration in the territorial tax register, the keeping of manufacturers’ accounts and the presentation of the stock register book for intra-Community purchasers.
We inform you that the new Special Tax on Non-Reusable Plastic Packaging came into force on 1 January 2023, with many doubts about its tax management, and with the plastics and food industry warning of some economic consequences for the most affected sectors.
It is a tax with a wide impact as it affects not only companies involved in the manufacture or distribution of packaging, but also any importer or intra-Community purchaser of plastic packaging (with or without content).
The Spanish Association of Plastics Industries (ANAIP) and its counterpart Association of Plastics Industries of Catalonia (AIPC) have warned of the far-reaching impact and the high administrative management costs for companies, especially for imports of EU products, as companies have no way of obtaining information from their foreign suppliers on the nature of the plastic in their packaging and its weight. It will therefore affect not only companies in the plastics sector. In practice, it will be difficult to find a company in the secondary sector that is not subject to this tax simply because it purchases outside Spanish territory any kind of goods that are packaged in non-recycled plastic and that weigh more than 5 kg in a month. In addition, the tax will form part of the VAT base.
THE KEYS TO THE NEW TAX ON PLASTIC PACKAGING
The Plastic Packaging Tax is defined as a tax of an indirect nature levied on the use, in the territory of application of the tax (“TAI”), of non-reusable packaging containing plastic.
The tax is applicable throughout Spain, without prejudice to the regional regimes of the Basque Country and Navarre.
Objective scope and taxable event
For this purpose, the new tax is levied on the manufacture, importation or intra-Community acquisition of non-reusable packaging containing plastic, whether it is empty or whether it is containing, protecting, handling, distributing or presenting goods. Packaging made of more than one material and containing plastic will be taxed on the amount of plastic it contains.
Packaging that is conceived, designed and marketed for multiple circuits or rotations or to be refilled or reused for the same purpose for which it was designed is reusable and therefore not taxed.
The tax is also levied on the manufacture, importation or intra-Community acquisition of semi-finished plastic products intended for the manufacture of non-reusable packaging (e.g. preforms or thermoplastic sheeting), as well as on other products containing plastic intended to enable the closure, marketing or presentation of non-reusable packaging.
In order to avoid double taxation, the rules provide that the production of packaging exclusively from these products does not count as manufacturing.
In addition to manufacture, imports and intra-Community acquisitions, the irregular introduction into the IAT of the abovementioned products, which form part of the objective scope of the tax, is also subject to tax, and this taxable event occurs when the person in possession of them cannot prove their manufacture, import or intra-Community acquisition or their prior acquisition in Spanish territory. It is therefore advisable to keep the necessary documentation to be able to prove these facts.
Accrual of the tax
In the case of manufacture, the tax shall become chargeable when the products subject to tax are first delivered or made available to the purchaser, in the IAT, by the manufacturer, unless advance payments are made prior to the first delivery, in which case the tax shall become chargeable (in whole or in part) when the total or partial collection of the price, for the amounts received, takes place.
In the case of importation, the chargeable event shall occur at the time when the accrual of import duties would have taken place.
In the case of intra-Community acquisitions, the chargeable event for the tax shall occur on the 15th day of the month following the month in which dispatch or transport of the taxable products to the purchaser begins, unless the invoice for these operations is issued prior to that date, in which case the chargeable event shall occur on the date on which the invoice is issued.
Non-taxable cases and exemptions
A number of cases of non-taxation and exemptions are regulated which imply non-taxation.
Specifically, it is foreseen, among other cases, that the manufacture, importation or acquisition of paints, inks, lacquers and adhesives designed to be incorporated into products that form part of the objective scope of the tax, among others, will not be subject to the tax.
The manufacture of products intended for shipment outside the IAT is also not subject to the tax.
Small imports or intra-Community acquisitions of packaging, i.e. those whose total weight of non-recycled plastic does not exceed 5 kilograms in a month, will be exempt from taxation.
The tax exemption is also established for those products that are used for the containment, protection, handling, distribution and presentation of medicines, medical devices, foodstuffs for special medical uses, infant formula for hospital use or hazardous waste of medical origin, as well as plastic rolls for silage for agricultural and livestock use.
Also declared exempt, among other cases, is the intra-Community acquisition of products which, prior to the end of the deadline for filing the corresponding self-assessment tax return, are intended to be sent to a territory other than the TAI.
Taxpayers are those who carry out the manufacture, importation or intra-Community acquisition of the products that form part of the objective scope of the tax.
Taxable base and rate
The taxable base of the tax is quantified by the quantity of non-recycled plastic, expressed in kilograms, contained in the products subject to the tax, to which the tax rate of 0.45 euros per kilogram will be applicable.
Deductions and refunds
Intra-Community manufacturers and purchasers may, in the self-assessment corresponding to each settlement period, deduct the amount of tax paid from the tax due in certain cases. The regulation establishes for imports, in certain cases, a system for refunding the tax paid. Likewise, the purchasers of the taxable products are entitled to request a refund of the tax paid, in certain circumstances.
FORMAL OBLIGATIONS AND TAX RETURN FORMS
The Official State Gazette of 30-12-2022 published Order HFP/1314/2022, of 28 December, approving form 592 for Self-assessment and form A22 for Request for refund, regulating in turn the registration in the territorial tax register, the keeping of manufacturers’ accounts and the presentation of the stock record book for intra-Community purchasers.
Below, we analyse the main formal obligations associated with the entry into force of the tax.
Forms 592 and A22
Form 592 must be filed and, where applicable, the tax debt paid within the 20 calendar days (or 15, in the case of direct debit) following the end of the corresponding settlement period, coinciding with the calendar quarter, except in the case of taxpayers whose VAT settlement period is monthly, in which case the calculation will also be monthly.
Form A22 must be filed within the first 20 calendar days following the end of the quarter in which the events giving rise to the refund request occur.
The rule limits the possibility of filing form A22 to non-taxpaying importers and purchasers of products subject to the tax. It can therefore be concluded that intra-Community purchasers, who are taxable persons subject to the tax and who also import, can only deduct the import quotas subject to refund (for example, in the case of shipment outside Spain of the imported products) by means of form 592, waiting until the last settlement period of the calendar year, if applicable, to request the refund of the existing balance in the event that they exceed the amount of the quotas accrued.
Registration in the territorial tax register
Manufacturers of products subject to the tax must apply for registration in the territorial register of the AEAT Management Office where the establishment in which they carry out their activity is located.
Intra-Community purchasers of such products must also apply for registration with the aforementioned Management Office, being exempt from this obligation if they make intra-Community purchases in which the total weight of non-recycled plastic does not exceed 5 kilograms in a calendar month.
The same obligation to register also applies to the representatives of taxpayers not established in Spanish territory.
Registration must be formalised by means of a telematic application, accompanied by:
- documentation accrediting representation for taxpayers not established in Spain,
- identification of the establishment in which the manufacturers carry out their activity, and
- indication of the corresponding Economic Activities Tax heading.
- This application must be made prior to the start of the activity, and for those taxpayers whose activity has already begun, within 30 calendar days following the entry into force of the Order (1 January 2023). Once registration has been agreed, the card accrediting registration will be issued, which will include the plastic identification code (CIP).
Accounting and stock record book
Taxpaying manufacturers must keep accounts for the products subject to the tax in accordance with the electronic format set out in Annex V of the Order, with a computerised accounting system, through the AEAT’s electronic headquarters, by electronically supplying the accounting entries within the month following the settlement period. In turn, they must include in their accounts the stocks of products that they have stored at the entry into force of the tax.
Intra-Community purchasers must keep a stock record book, in accordance with the electronic format set out in Annex V of the Order, through the AEAT’s Electronic Headquarters, within the month following the settlement period. However, without prejudice to the obligation to keep this book, they are not obliged to present this book in the settlement periods for which no tax is payable.
For both obligations:
- The month of August is considered to be a non-business day, and
- For settlement periods in the first half of 2023, a transitional period is established for the provision of entries and submission of the stock ledger, so that they can be submitted within the month of July 2023.
Although it is not regulated in the Order, but through Article 82.9 of Law 7/2022, of 8 April, on waste and contaminated soils for a circular economy, which approves the tax, on the occasion of sales or deliveries of products subject to the tax in Spain, the following invoicing obligations must be fulfilled:
- On the first sale or supply made after the manufacture of the products, manufacturers must pass on to the purchaser the amount of the tax charges due, stating on the invoice separately the amount of the charges due, the quantity of non-recycled plastic contained in kilograms and the item for which an exemption applies, where applicable.
- The same obligations will appear on subsequent sales (by stating such details on the invoice or on a certificate), upon request by the purchaser, except for simplified invoices.
For more information, see this link.
Given the wide-ranging impact of this tax, it is advisable to carry out an individual analysis of the material and formal impact of this tax on companies.
You can contact our office for any questions or clarification you may have in this regard.