A ‘windfall tax’ is a one-off tax on companies that have made unexpectedly high profits, usually due to very favourable conditions in the market they’re operating in. It’s usually in place for just one year.
In the context of the current cost-of-living crisis, the one-off windfall tax will be put on energy companies, after some of the biggest players including BP and Shell reported huge increases in their profits due to unusually high oil and gas prices.
The tax will target these companies as they have been lucky to benefit from something that they’re not responsible for – in this case, surging energy prices. We’ve already looked at why energy prices are going up in this blog.