From the beginning of April 2018, changes have been implemented to the Landfill Tax Regulations that make it easier for people involved in illegal dumping to be made liable for the tax, whilst also trying to safeguard landowners and individuals in the waste supply process who have demonstrated appropriate care and attention, but who have inadvertently or unwittingly been involved in illegal dumping.
According to the government’s website, the objective of this policy is to ‘deter non-compliance by making the illegal disposal of waste less profitable, and reinforce the principle of ‘the polluter pays’’ – both of which are likely to be seen as a step in the right direction given the fact that in 2016/17, local authorities in England dealt with over a million fly tipping/illegal waste disposal incidents (33% of these were business/industry waste), and the cost of clearing these areas was £57.7 million. The impact of waste crime is far higher than the cost of clean-up alone, with the 2015 waste crime occurrences costing the English economy more than £600m.
From 01 April 2018, individuals who dispose of material at an unauthorised waste site will be liable to pay the Landfill tax level that they had attempted to avoid (standard rate material at £88.95 per tonne, and ‘Lower rate’ or less polluting materials that meet specific criteria charged at £2.80 per tonne – these figures are the same across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland), plus an additional penalty of at least 100% of the tax avoided. For individuals and landowners who feel that they have been unfairly caught up in illegal waste disposal, the government does appear to be planning to introduce guidance to help customers understand how they can protect themselves from being liable for a Landfill Tax charge (this may include taking a deposit from occupiers who plan to carry out waste management activities to ensure that if waste is illegally or inappropriately dumped, that the landowner has funds in place to pay landfill tax and any waste removal costs, and are likely to be ‘best practice’ for all landowners), though this information is not yet in existence.
For the latest information on Landfill tax, visit the gov.uk website today.