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Indirect taxes

Alcohol duty
Alcohol duty rates will be frozen, and the system will be heavily reformed and modernised, following a period of review. A consultation has been launched with a closing date of 30 January 2022. The main thrust of this is to more closely align duty rates with ABV strength, and removing seemingly illogical differences in charging between differing products of the same strength – e.g. still vs sparkling wine. The reform aims to align with public health objectives.

Duties increasing with RPI
A number of duty rates and bands will increase in line with the Retail Prices Index from April 2022, including:

– Landfill tax rates;
– Gross Gaming Yield bands for gaming duty;
– Vehicle Excise Duty.

Fuel duty rises will be scrapped in light of recent price rises and supply issues.

HGVs
The HGV Vehicle Excise Duty freeze will continue for a further twelve months, i.e. for 2022/23, and the HGV Levy will be suspended until 31 July 2023. Finance Bill 2021/22 will also contain provisions to temporarily extend road haulage cabotage (the transport of goods between two locations in the same country by an operator from another country). The rules permit two journeys to be undertaken within seven days of entry into the UK. The extension will permit unlimited cabotage movements for up to 14 days until 30 April 2022.

Tobacco
The Finance Bill 2021/22 will increase the duty rates on all tobacco products by 2% above the Retail Price Index. The duty rate for hand-rolling tobacco increased by an additional 4% above this and the minimum excise tax by an additional 1%. There are also a number of new sanctions designed to combat duty evasion, with detail available here.

Air passenger duty
A lower rate of duty will apply to domestic flights from April 2023. A new band for ultra-long haul flights will be introduced at the same time.

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