HMRC publishes liability clarification on illegal disposal landfill tax

16 AUGUST 2018

Landfill tax on waste disposed of at unauthorised sites

From 1 April 2018, new measures were brought in that enabled landfill tax to be charged on illegal disposals of waste.

HMRC has now issued clarification on who the tax would apply to and it emphasises the responsibilities for authorised waste disposal that go beyond the person doing the tipping. Brokers, waste producers and landowners could all be caught up if they cannot demonstrate that they had taken the necessary reasonable steps under S.34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to ensure that waste is disposed of correctly. 

This includes:

  • check that the next waste holder is authorised to take the waste
  • ask the next waste holder where they’re going to take the waste and try and get proof
  • give an accurate description of the material when it’s transferred to another person ie correct EWC code
  • 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

As landfill tax has increased and the costs for alternative methods of disposal - such as Refuse Derived Fuel - have also escalated, illegal disposal has grown to the point that the Government set up a special review back in June into organised crime. Many businesses and householders are unaware that regardless of whether the person removing the waste has a waste carriers licence and issued a transfer note, if the waste ends up being illegally dumped further down the line, they may be liable for prosecution if they cannot demonstrate that they had considered the disposal route beyond the carrier.