Those who cultivate tobacco in the UK may pay a penalty if they do not pay duty on their crop. Some smokers do buy tobacco seeds from such firms as The Tobacco Seed Company and Plantation House in order to plant them in their garden.
Today a 20-pack of cigarettes in the UK costs £7 – £8 and a 25 gram pack of rolling tobacco costs £8. A standard land parcel with 500 plants gives 54kg of tobacco which costs more than £8,000 in the shops. Smokers who cultivate tobacco may see the law into action if they don’t tell the assessor about their supply, even in case it is just for personal use.
A spokesman for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said that each person who cultivates tobacco in his garden for personal use must pay taxes, otherwise they will pay penalty or have their tobacco seized.
HMRC says that private person must pay tax on any tobacco product he produces, even if it is for personal use.
Matthew Sinclair, the representative of TaxPayers’ Alliance says that it is silly that complex tax code in Britain means you could end up being charged just for cultivating plants in your back yard. The assessors are determined to get every penny it can from individuals who just want to enjoy smoking. Generally speaking, high taxes on tobacco products most of all do affect ordinary people who begin to seek cigarettes on the black market.
Angela Harbutt, who represents pro-smoking lobby group Forest, says she understands that HMRC must have a law on this but she hopes they do not destroy any of their precious resources following someone who is growing something in their back garden.
In their turn, Plantation House claims a single tobacco plant can produce a million seeds, although it is illegal to sell the crop.
The company’s website data shows that the trade in tobacco seeds has grown last year because smokers feel they have been driven underground and banned in public places by the anti-smoking laws. The pricing structure in the entire world does not refl ect the real cost of tobacco, more a means of raising taxes.
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