The application of landfill tax – don’t get caught out

The application of landfill tax – don’t get caught out

Posted on in Company News

Recent regulatory updates apply to all projects where soils and demolition materials are being excavated or processed, and either re-used on site or disposed off-site to a transfer station or landfill.

Our remediation director, John Davies, outlines what you need to be aware of to ensure your business can avoid any pitfalls when it comes to the disposal of waste from your sites.

John says “Changes have been made to how landfill tax is to be applied by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and how environmental permitting is regulated by the Environment Agency (EA).

These changes are more frequently being enforced following the identification of a number of abuses of both the environmental permitting system and the inappropriate and incorrect use of the CL:AIRE Definition of Waste: Development Industry Code of Practice (DoW CoP). These regulations apply to any projects where soils are being excavated and either selected for re-use or disposed of off-site and include the treatment or disposal of soils containing asbestos, where environmental permits are already required to undertake the works.

The scope of landfill tax has been extended to cover any site (not exclusively landfills) operating without the appropriate environmental permit, appropriate exemption or correctly applied use of the DoW CoP. 

HMRC and the EA are actively pursuing those committing regulatory offences relating to the reuse of soils and/or wastes on development sites. If the correct environmental permits are not in place prior to work commencing on site, and if the DoW CoP has not been correctly applied, the company or individual involved will be deemed to have illegally deposited waste. 

Teams that do not understand either the permitting system or the DoW CoP are running the risk of regulatory enforcement, so it is imperative to ensure compliance to avoid serious fines and possible prosecution.

John outlines the consequences of breaches to any of the regulations:

  • Sites in England that operate without the necessary environmental permit or exemption and/or are incorrectly operating under the DoW CoP will be liable for landfill tax at the standard rate on all materials
  • Similarly, sites in Wales will be liable for landfill disposal tax at an unauthorised disposal rate 
  • All material at illegal sites on and after 1 April 2018 is now subject to the tax. Currently, certain material deposited at permitted sites is exempt from landfill tax, but the changes disapply the exemptions for illegal sites so that all material deposited at them is taxable 
  • In addition to being liable for landfill tax, any person who deposits waste or knowingly permits the deposit of waste at an illegal site will now face a separate criminal prosecution for waste offences 
  • HMRC is able to charge an additional penalty of up to 100% of the tax due, and have the right to prosecute those who do not pay

Should a breach of the regulations be identified, the details of all those involved in the project will be provided to HMRC who will pursue the collection of the Landfill Tax in addition to any other enforcement action taken by the EA. Both the company and the individual(s) are subject to prosecution under law.”

John finishes: “In short, the management and the re-use of materials on-site should be undertaken by professional and experienced practitioners with demonstrable experience and expertise on ensuring compliance with regulations.”

Rhodar is equipped to manage any project relating to the management of soils and demolition materials and, whilst our experienced remediation team can provide a consultancy service to advise, we also have the practical capabilities to ensure compliance in planning and on-site.

If you’d like more information on Rhodar’s services, have queries regarding application of the regulations or are concerned with the liabilities resulting from non-compliance, get in touch with our Remediation Team at:  remediation@rhodar.co.uk

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