With effect from 1 January 2023, two new environmental taxes will enter into force, which will be levied on non-reusable plastic packaging and on the deposit of waste in landfills and its destruction
The recently published Law 7/2022, of 8 April, on waste and contaminated soils for a circular economy, hereinafter Law 7/2022, has approved, among other measures, the creation of a new tax linked to the prevention of the generation of plastic waste from non-reusable packaging.
The taxable event refers to the manufacture, import or intra-Community acquisition of packaging or semi-finished plastic products which, containing plastic, are not reusable, including those introduced in an irregular manner.
Packaging is considered to be any product intended to provide the function of containing, protecting, handling, distributing and presenting goods, among others (plastic cups, plastic packaging rolls and all those listed in Law 7/2022, in its article 2, which refers to Law 11/1997, of 24 April. Article 2.5 regulates the concept of reuse, stating that it is any operation in which the packaging conceived and designed to carry out a minimum number of circuits, rotations or uses throughout its life cycle, is refilled or reused for the same purpose for which it was designed, with or without the help of auxiliary products present on the market that allow the packaging itself to be refilled. Such packaging shall be considered as waste when it is no longer reused.
Without prejudice to the above, Law 7/2022 establishes, in turn, cases of non-taxation and exemption depending on the uses for which the packaging is used.
With regard to the accrual, it should be noted that it refers, in the case of manufacture, to the moment in which the first delivery is made or made available to the purchaser; in the case of imports, at the moment in which the import duty is accrued and, in the case of intra-Community acquisitions, on the 15th day of the month following that in which the dispatch or transport begins, unless there has been a previous invoice issued, since the date of the invoice takes precedence.
With regard to the taxpayers, they will be both natural or legal persons and entities without legal personality that carry out the manufacture, importation or intra-Community acquisition of the packaging, even in the case of irregular introduction, which will be considered to be whoever possesses, markets or transports or uses said products. The taxable amount is calculated on the basis of the quantity of non-recycled plastic, in kilos, to which the rate of 0.45 €/kg will be applied.
From a formal point of view, it should be noted that the settlement will be monthly or quarterly depending on the period established in accordance with the turnover for VAT purposes.
There will also be registration and accounting obligations vis-à-vis the tax authorities. Finally, invoicing obligations are also established for sales or supplies of products subject to the tax: On the one hand, on the first sale or supply made within the territorial scope of the tax after manufacture, manufacturers must pass on to the purchaser the amount of the tax dues accruing when the transaction is carried out. The invoice must contain the following items separately:
- The amount of the levies due.
- The amount of non-recycled plastic contained in the products, expressed in kilograms.
- Whether any exemption applies, specifying the article under which the sale or supply is exempt.
In all other cases, i.e. in cases other than manufacture or first supply, those making the sales or supplies of the products subject to the tax must enter, as requested by the purchaser, a certificate or on the invoices issued on the occasion of such sales or supplies:
- The amount of tax paid on those products or whether any exemption applies, specifying the article under which the tax benefit was applied.
- The quantity of non-recycled plastic contained in the products, expressed in kilograms.
However, there is an exception to this obligation, which refers to cases in which simplified invoices are issued in accordance with the provisions of Article 7.1 of the Invoicing Regulation.
In development of the regulation, a Draft Order is currently being processed for the purpose of approving form 592 for self-assessment relating to the Special Tax on non-reusable plastic packaging and form A22 corresponding to requests for refunds. This order will regulate the form and procedure for the presentation of these forms, registration in the Territorial Register and the keeping of accounts and stock records.
Finally, it should be noted that the same Law 7/2022 has also created the Tax on the deposit of waste in landfills, incineration and co-incineration of waste, for which the order approving the model registration card and form 593 “Tax on the deposit of waste in landfills, incineration and co-incineration of waste. Self-assessment”.