HMRC introduced some new rules around selling and buying alcohol on 1 April! Find out what the changes mean...

Over the last few months, our Tax team has been beavering away to make sure Marston’s complies with new rules that were introduced by HM Revenue and Customs at the beginning of April.

The Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme (AWRS) requires any person or company – like Marston’s – that sells alcohol to another business to pass a test before they’re approved. After this, they’re given a Unique Reference Number (URN). The scheme has been introduced to tackle alcohol fraud, which loses the Government £1.2 billion in VAT and Duty every year.

So what does this mean for Marston’s? Thanks to the hard work of Francesca Hughes, Group Indirect Tax Manager, and her team, we successfully received our URN earlier this year. This number is now displayed on all wholesale alcohol invoices.

It’s also now illegal for us to purchase wholesale alcohol from a UK supplier that isn’t on HMRC’s AWRS register. It’s easy to see who’s approved – simply go to the Exchange to view a list of Marston’s approved suppliers (ask your manager to print a copy if you don’t have access).

“We worked closely with Purchasing and IT to set everything up for the new rules. It’s really important we comply because there are severe penalties and big risks to our reputation, as well as the ability to trade, if we don’t. That’s why we need everyone affected to be aware of the changes,” said Francesca.

Thanks to everyone involved for making sure we’re AWRS compliant!

If you’re not sure how AWRS affects you, have any tax-related questions, or would simply like to know more about the great work our Tax team does to make sure we’re tax compliant and save tax where possible, get in touch:


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