Debt and return pursuit: Landfill Tax (LT): Who is liable to pay the debt? The registered and unregistered person
The Registered person
The registered holder of the waste-management licence or permit is liable to account for and pay the tax. If the licence/permit-holder operates more than one landfill site he or she will account for the tax in one registration.
Most of the debts reported for civil recovery action will be LT debts of a person registered for LT as a
- sole proprietor
- partnership or
- limited company.
Some may be no longer registered (de-registered), and some may no longer be required to be registered (unregistered). Section 49 of the Finance Act 1996, provides:
“Regulations may provide that a registered person shall –
a. account for tax by reference to such periods as may be determined by or under the regulations
b. make, in relation to accounting periods, returns in such form as may be prescribed and at such times as may be so determined
c. pay tax at such times and in such manner as may be so determined.”
Where the licence/permit holder for the landfill site has no direct involvement in operating the site, the liability to pay tax is extended to the ‘controller’ of the site. This means that the controller will be jointly and severally liable for the debt if the person named on the licence or permit fails to pay.
The controller is a person, other than the licence/permit holder, who determines what materials (if any) are disposed of at the site, or part of the site. A person who is purely acting as an agent or employee of someone else is not a controller.
The controller of the site does not have to register for Landfill Tax. However, if a person becomes, or ceases to be a controller, both the controllers and the operator must notify us within 30 days of the change. If they fail to do so then that person is liable to a penalty of £250.
Details of controllers are kept on the Landfill Tax Register, which is maintained by the Central Collection Unit (CCU) in Southend.
The law covering controllers is in the Finance Act 1996, paragraphs 48 and 61 inclusive. These were inserted by Finance Act 2000 s 142(3), Sch 37, with effect for taxable disposals made after 27 July 2000.
Where there is a taxable disposal of material at an unauthorised waste site; the person that makes the disposal, or knowingly causes, or knowingly facilitates the disposal may be liable to pay Landfill Tax.
Every person that has made a disposal at an unauthorised waste site, has knowingly caused or has knowingly permitted the disposal, can be held jointly and severally liable to pay Landfill Tax.
The following persons are considered to have knowingly caused or knowingly permitted disposal at an unauthorised waste site unlesss they can demonstrate that they are not liable.
- took any action with a view to the disposal
- were party to a contract for the sale of the material that was disposed of
- facilitated the transport or storage of the material
- are the owner, lessee or occupier of land at which the unauthorised disposal of material was made
- controls, or are able to control, a vehicle or trailer from which an unauthorised disposal of material is made
- were an officer of a body corporate or unincorporated association that makes the disposal or knowingly causes or knowingly permits the disposal to be made.