Landfill Tax on material disposed of at unauthorised sites

Find out who pays Landfill Tax on material at unauthorised sites.

Landfill Tax is due on taxable material disposed of at unauthorised sites in England and Northern Ireland.

Details of what is considered to be a taxable disposal at an unauthorised site is set out in section 24 of Notice LFT1: a general guide to Landfill Tax.

Landfill Tax is charged when material is disposed of at sites operating with an environmental permit or licence from the relevant environmental authorities. It is also due when a disposal is made at an unauthorised site - this is one that should have a permit or licence authorising disposals but does not.

Anyone who knowingly causes or permits the disposal at an unauthorised site may also be liable to pay the tax due.

Who will pay Landfill Tax on a disposal at an unauthorised site

When a taxable disposal at an unauthorised site has been identified, the following persons may be liable for the tax:

  • the person who actually makes the disposal
  • any person who knowingly causes or facilitates the disposal, such as:
    • the material broker or dealer involved in the disposal
    • the material haulier involved in the transport of the material to the unauthorised site
    • the landowner
    • the material producer
    • any company officer

Good business practice and record keeping will help you safeguard against getting involved with disposals at unauthorised material sites.

The following are some ways to help ensure that you did not knowingly cause or facilitate material disposal at an unauthorised site.The list is not exhaustive but you should:

  • check that the next material holder is authorised to take the material
  • ask the next material holder where they’re going to take the material and try and get proof
  • give an accurate description of the material when it’s transferred to another person
  • as a company director or partner, make sure you are directly involved with decisions made regarding the disposals of material by that business
  • as a landowner, make sure that any lease or rental agreements state what the premises or land may or may not be used for
  • as a corporate body, include procedures within your company’s risk assessment to prevent Landfill Tax evasion through your business

If you’re already involved in the material supply chain, or are new to the movement or disposal of material, we expect you to be aware of and comply with the published material Duty of Care requirements.

For England the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) produces a Waste Duty of Care code of practice. In Northern Ireland, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (Daera) publishes the Waste Management The Duty of Care - A Code of Practice.

How HMRC decides who is responsible for the material

HMRC may visit your site to decide who is responsible for making disposals at an unauthorised site. They’ll inspect your records and consider if and what extent, landowners and others involved have considered duty of care requirements.

What you’ll pay

HMRC will send the responsible person a tax assessment. You’ll be charged Landfill Tax at the standard rate. A penalty may also be charged, and in some instances criminal action may also be taken. Further details about penalties and charges are covered in Notice LFT1: a general guide to Landfill Tax

Report material being disposed at an unauthorised site

You must contact HMRC by telephone on: 0800 788 887 if you become aware of disposals of material at an unauthorised site.

Fly-tipping should be reported separately.

Published 16 August 2018