Landowners have been advised of changes to legislation relating to landfill tax following a consultation by Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Alastair Frew in the Lodders Real Estate team outlines the key information for landowners to take note of.
Through these new changes, HMRC is aspiring to reduce the amount of unauthorised waste disposals, something which has impacted not only upon the environment but also on local communities. The tax changes aim to reduce the profitability of illegal waste disposal and subsequently deter incidences of non-compliance.
Tax can now be applied at illegal sites
Illegal waste can attract £90 per tonne in tax and penalty, because the tax can now be charged both at the unauthorised site and then again when it reaches the authorised site taking the total charge to £180.
Landowners are now liable
The landowner which produces the waste is now liable for landfill tax on unauthorised disposals, unless it can show that it has exercised all due care. Businesses are encouraged to review their waste disposal contract and take action if it appears to be too good to be true.
Landowners who accept waste, something which can be common on building sites, are “hosting a landfill site.” The landowner is responsible to become regulated and check the quality of the waste being received, and it is important to remember that unregulated dumping will attract a tax charge.
Landowners may rectify the problem in advance
If a landowner discovers that his waste is on an illegal site before HMRC raises a penalty notice, it can avoid the penalty charge by quickly removing the waste to a lawful site.
The new law applies retrospectively
If you own land on which there is illegally dumped material (classically, golf courses or old rural industrial sites) then this is now subject to tax in its current location, as well as when the material is moved to a regulated site.
If the landowner and the disposal contractor are jointly liable, HMRC will typically split the tax charge between them.
Fly-tipping differs from unauthorised waste disposal
Fly-tipping is not the responsibility of an unwitting landowner, unless the landowner has co-operated, or taken no steps to prevent it. It is important to note that an unauthorised waste site differs from a fly-tipping site in that an unauthorised waste site is a more established site that should hold a waste permit, but does not. Fly-tipping is considered to be more opportunistic and not part of organised waste disposal.
For further information, click here to read Excise Notice LFT1, Government guidance on landfill tax.
To find out more, please contact Alastair Frew on 01789 206117 or by email.