The waste management sector and local authorities will have to wait longer for details of the landfill tax rates from April 2024 after the Treasury opted not to publish the rates alongside its November budget.
However, in a separate announcement HMRC has confirmed that loss of ignition tests for inert landfill waste can be retaken as was started during the Covid-19 pandemic (see below).
In 2021 the Treasury announced the tax rate for 2023/24 but twelve months on it did not repeat the announcement with numbers for 2024/25.
It is believed that an announcement about the 2024/25 rate is still planned but will not happen until sometime in the future when the Treasury, through Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, makes further fiscal statements.
No reason for the delay has been given. However, a number of factors are understood to be on the Treasury radar, especially because the tax rate increase is linked to inflation. There has long been concern about a possible connection between landfill tax and waste crime and an increase as high as the current rate of inflation, c12% could exacerbate this. Local authorities who use landfill could also face a sharp increase in costs as would legitimate operators in the commercial and industrial sector.
There is also a review underway into the role of the landfill tax. Organised by the Treasury, this saw comments submitted by industry and councils in February 2022. So far, the Treasury has not commented on what happens next with the message being that any decisions made in light of the review will be made “in due course”.
HMRC explained that its consultation on the review was a call for evidence seeking views “on the key design features of Landfill Tax, including the rate that applies to different materials and the circumstances in which exemptions and discounts can be claimed.” The call for evidence, said the Treasury, was focused on how Landfill Tax could continue to support the government’s ambitious environmental objectives, including achieving zero avoidable waste by 2050.
Loss on Ignition
During the Covid-19 pandemic a temporary change was introduced to the loss on ignition retesting condition due to coronavirus. This change is now permanent, HMRC has announced.
The loss on ignition (LOI) process by burning is used to help determine that waste going to landfill is inert. On 23 November 2022 the change to being permanent was announced. Information is contained within HMRC’s landfill tax guide.
The document explains that “if the prescribed test is conducted and the result is above the LOI threshold, you may conduct a single retest provided the following conditions are met, the:
- original prepared sample of fines must be retested
- first LOI result must be no more than 0.5% above the LOI threshold
- prescribed retest must be conducted within a period of 21 days of the date of disposal of the material
“In such circumstances, if the retest result is within the LOI threshold, you may treat this as the test result for determining liability to Landfill Tax.
“If you’re unable to get the retest processed within this time frame, you can carry this out as soon as reasonably possible. You should keep evidence to demonstrate this.”
letsrecycle.com: by Steve Eminton