Sugar Sweetened Drinks Tax (SSDT)

Liability

When does Sugar Sweetened Drinks Tax (SSDT) apply?

A liability to SSDT arises where a supplier makes a supply in the State, for the first time, of a quantity of sugar sweetened drinks. This means that taxable drinks that have been brought into, or produced in the State, are being supplied to another person by the producer or importer.

In making this first supply in the State the producer or importer is a Sugar Sweetened Drinks Supplier (SSDS).

The first supply in the State may be at wholesale or retail level. If the taxable drinks are sourced outside the State, whoever makes the first supply in the State is the liable supplier.

Only first supplies in the State are liable to the tax. Second and subsequent supplies are not liable supplies. 

If a wholesaler or retailer is supplying goods they sourced in the State, from:

  • a producer
  • or
  • an importer

they are not deemed liable suppliers.

The SSDS making the first supply is liable to account for and pay the SSDT. The liability arises when the first supply is made in the State. This is the point at which the supplier transfers ownership, or the right to dispose of the goods, as owner, to another person. First supplies that are free of charge are still liable to SSDT.

First supplies between related companies (as defined in the Companies Act 2014) are not regarded as liable supplies.

The importation of Sugar Sweetened Drinks into the State is not a first supply in the State. Similarly the production of sugar sweetened drinks in the State does not give rise to a liability to SSDT.

Who is liable for SSDT?

SSDT liability arises on first supply, in the State, of ready to consume or concentrated sugar sweetened drinks by a SSDS. The SSDS is accountable for, and must pay the tax to Revenue.

An SSDS is:

  • an accountable person under the Value Added Tax (VAT) Acts
  • or
  • a taxable person carrying on a business below the threshold for VAT registration.

How is SSDT collected?

SSDT is collected on a self-assessed basis. This means that the person liable to pay the tax must assess their tax liability and file a return and payment on that basis. The return is subject to audit and compliance checks by Revenue.

What is the tax treatment of a first supply of sugar sweetened drinks outside the State?

Where a first supply of sugar sweetened drinks is made to a person or business located outside the State, that supply is not liable to SSDT.

If the customer is exporting goods that were acquired in the State they may be eligible for a relief payable by repayment. 

For detailed information regarding the Sugar Sweetened Drinks Tax (SSDT) Compliance Procedures, please see further guidance.

Next: Rate of tax