Carrier bag charges
23rd October 2015
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Everyone has been talking about the new 5p carrier bag charge which came in to force earlier this month. But did you know that the rules are not the same for everyone and differ depending upon which part of the UK you operate in. For this blog I shall restrict this answer to the English rules. These cover single use plastic bag 70 microns or less thick.

 Although the government has imposed this charge, the money collected by you is your own income and so subject to VAT and income taxes. The net amount does not need to be paid over to HM Revenue and Customs or anyone else. Having said this the government is encouraging traders to pay the carrier bag income to a charity, but this is not a legal requirement.

 However, retailers are not legally required to impose this charge if the customer is buying loose fruit, medication and potted plants but only if the bag solely contains these items. Most importantly, retailers employing less than 250 staff are also exempt, so if you are running “a small shop”, for example, this would mean that you do not need to start charging your customers.

 For further advice on this subject and any other area of accountancy or taxation, please contact Sam Carter from our Hastings office on 01424 720222 or email or Louise Franklin from our Bexhill office on 01424 730300 or email

About the Author

Louise F

Member since: 25th November 2014

I work for Ashdown Hurrey, where I qualified as a chartered certified accountant in February 2014.

I joined the practice after completing my degree in accounting and finance at Manchester Metropolitan...

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