ACS Welcomes New HMRC Alcohol Strategy

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has welcomed HMRC’s new Alcohol Strategy, aimed at tackling the illicit trade in alcohol.

The strategy consists of three main parts:

  • promoting good compliance — making it easier for businesses to pay the right duties
  • preventing tax losses — making it harder to make mistakes or to deliberately cheat
  • responding to those who cheat — increasing the impact of enforcement

The Strategy notes that the current annual loss to the Treasury in alcohol duty stands at £1.2bn, £750m of which consists of lost beer duty.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We welcome HMRC’s renewed focus on tackling the illicit trade in alcohol, and we will continue to work closely with HMRC. The Alcohol Strategy demonstrates that there is still a long way to go in talking alcohol duty fraud.  This criminal activity lands taxpayers with a £1.2bn bill through lost revenue, and hurts legitimate businesses who have to try to compete with illegal traders.”

In addition to the publication of the Strategy, today (March 31st) also marks the deadline for registrations to the Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme, which has been put in place to ensure that retailers can only purchase alcohol from legitimate wholesalers.

Mr Lowman continued: “The Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme is an important positive step towards reducing the impact of the illicit trade, but it must be used by HMRC, the police and local authorities to identify rogue retailers buying through non-registered sources, and to take away their licences.”

The full strategy document is available here:

ACS is a member of the Joint Alcohol Anti-Fraud Taskforce and the Joint Alcohol and Tobacco Consultation Group.

This entry was posted by Chris on Thu, 31/03/2016 - 01:38