Landfill brings new tax risk

Landfill Tax may not seem one to watch for every business: but key developments since 1 April 2018 mean waste disposal at unauthorised waste sites may now be taxable and any business allowing taxable waste to be disposed of at an unauthorised waste site is potentially in scope. These new rules come on top of the responsibilities which every business already has as a waste producer.

Unauthorised sites are those operating without the necessary Environment Agency or Northern Ireland Environment Agency permits, and the new guidance explains that ‘the person who actually makes the disposal, or any person who knowingly causes or knowingly facilitates the disposal,’ could be held jointly and severally liable for the tax. The new rules thus affect not just the waste producing business, but its company officers, such as directors - as well as hauliers, waste brokers, or the owner of land on which disposal is made.

Tax and penalties of up to nearly £180 per tonne can be charged on unauthorised disposals, retrospectively in some cases. Every business will need ongoing care and due diligence checks in future. HMRC guidance is here - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/excise-notice-lft1-a-general-guide-to-landfill-tax

In the main, the new rules apply to disposals in England and Northern Ireland. Scotland and Wales have their own rules on waste disposal, with similarly stringent requirements.

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