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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Debt and return pursuit - Landfill Tax (LT): what is Landfill Tax?

Landfill Tax (LT) was introduced in 1996 because the government felt that it was important that disposal costs reflect some of the environmental impact of landfill, such as the damage caused by the generation of methane (which contributes to global warming), pollution of ground water and the nuisance to local residents caused by litter, noise, smell etc. There is substantial scope for businesses to adopt better waste management practices and the tax provides further incentives for them to do so. It compliments and reinforces the general approach and policies of the government for sustainable waste management, set out in the Governments Waste Strategy.

Landfill Tax in England and Northern Ireland is under the collection and management of the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs (section 5(1) (b) of the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005).

Landfill Tax was devolved to Scotland from 1 April 2015 and Wales from 1 April 2018. Certain provisions may apply to landfill site operators with sites in Scotland which were registered with HMRC for Landfill Tax until 31 March 2015 and for landfill site operators in Wales which were registered with HMRC for Landfill Tax until 31 March 2018. Since devolution of the tax, Revenue Scotland collects and manages Scottish Landfill Tax (SLfT) and the Welsh Revenue Authority collects and manages Landfill Disposals Tax (LDT).

Registered operators of landfill sites range from local authorities and national waste-disposal companies to farmers and private individuals. In order to register a site as a landfill site, the operator must hold a valid environmental permit or licence that covers that site that is in England or Northern Ireland. If not, the site is not a landfill site and any disposals made at such a site will be “unauthorised”.

From 1 April 2018, Landfill Tax is charged on all disposals of material at sites in England and Northern Ireland unless the disposal is exempt. This includes disposals at sites that are not covered by an environmental permit or licence, but should be. These sites are sometimes called “illegal waste sites” or “unauthorised waste sites”. Before 1 April 2018, Landfill Tax was only charged on disposals at properly permitted and licenced sites. However, all material (such as waste) in situ on a site that is not a landfill site on 1 April 2018 is liable to Landfill Tax.

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) Guidance on Landfill Tax is in X-55 Landfill Tax.