Changes to Landfill Tax unwelcomed by waste industry

Posted on 5th June, 2012

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs has announced two changes to the rules governing Landfill Tax.
In a brief published in May, the HMRC said that tax should be paid on material used to protect or ‘provide a suitable stable substrate’ for the overlying layers at the top of a landfill cell. Known as the ‘top fluff layer’, this is around a metre of material underneath the clay cap in each cell and in the past has been regarded as an engineering material and therefore not taxable.
HMRC has brought waste materials used at the top of landfill cells as well as the bottom within the scope of landfill tax In addition, fines from recycling processes, grit and screenings will no longer be eligible for the lower £2.50 per tonne rate of landfill tax applied to inert material, and must be charged the full rate of £64 a tonne.

The changes are set to have a big impact on the waste management sector, which has not previously had to shoulder landfill tax costs for this material, with some suggesting that it could push up the prices of recycling and disposal.