From 1 April 2018 the scope of Landfill Tax will be extended to sites operating without the appropriate environmental disposal permit. Operators of illegal waste sites will now be liable for Landfill Tax. The new legislation contained in the Finance Bill 2017 to 2018 (and subsequent secondary legislation) will provide for:
- Sites operating without the necessary environmental disposal permit or licence will be liable for Landfill Tax at the standard rate on all material.
- All material at illegal sites on 1 April 2018 and any material disposed at such sites after this date will be caught by the tax.
- Anyone who knowingly facilitates the disposal may be jointly and severally liable to any assessment.
- HMRC will be able to charge an additional penalty of up to 100% of the tax due, and will also have the right to criminally prosecute in the most serious cases.
- The changes only apply to sites in England and Northern Ireland because Landfill Tax was devolved to the Scottish Parliament in April 2015 and is due to be devolved to the Welsh Assembly from 1 April 2018.
Safeguards will ensure that landowners and people in the waste supply chain who, despite carrying out all reasonable due diligence, were unknowingly involved in the illegal dumping will not be liable for any tax or penalties. This means that, as long as the current Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) Duty of Care requirements are complied with, innocent parties will not be liable.
HMRC will be developing clear guidance in line with Duty of Care requirements ahead of implementation.
For more information on Duty of Care and how you can protect yourself against rogue traders in the waste sector now, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/