HMRC Responds to Anger at Landfill Tax Increases


Frustrated reactions regarding the landfill tax increase of soils causes HMRC to respond.

Following last month’s outlandish (and unheralded) increases in landfill tax for soils (fines), HMRC has responded to the frustration and disappointment felt by many within the industry by issuing a second statement seemingly aimed at absolving them of blame. However, as this appears to have materialised as a result of potential disruption to the preparations for the recent jubilee celebrations and upcoming Olympic events.

However, the new statement still doesn’t shed any further light on two extremely important issues.

1. Due to the apparent threat of prosecution laid out in the initial HMRC statement, operators are erring on the side of caution and calculating charges based on the potential charge of £64.00 per tonne, rather than the current rate of £2.50. This second statement does little to iron out ambiguities, so operators are forced to continue to pass these increases on to their unfortunate customers.

2. Many contractors have achieved great success in the diversion of waste from landfill into energy resources, but even with such impressive steps, a residual waste element will occur. Often, this material is processed and shredded to create a ‘fluff’ layer used as liner protection in engineering and restoration at landfill sites. Previously, this ‘fluff’ material was landfill tax exempt, but the new HMRC rules indicate that it will liable at the same £64.00 per tonne rate as regular landfill. In quantifiable terms, this could mean a further tax on up to 20 percent of the output from the energy, potentially adding between £6.00 – £12.00 per tonne to the overall gate fee. This increase represents a wider commercial problem with effects likely to be felt in many business sectors, not just the construction industry.

As things stand, there is still much confusion and until more concrete information has been received from HMRC, we are extremely reluctant to operate moving forward with the assumption that the higher rate is applicable. Obviously, to continue to deliver the best possible value to JWS Waste customers remains our priority, which is why we’re continuing to try and gain clarity from landfill operators, HMRC and other relevant parties.

With this in mind, we will not be applying the increase in our charges at this stage – however, we must reserve the right to implement any planned increases immediately in the event of a clear position becoming evident regarding the tax on soil fines.

To further assist our customers in preparing for any required adaptations and negating the impact of the impending increases, we would advise any that believe they can segregate (heavy) inert materials to consider moving to an improved ratecard (details below). This would comprise a transport and separate disposal charge for mixed construction waste skips, in conjunction with any established rates for recovered materials segregated on site.

For any further news on these unfortunate legislative developments, which affect us as well as our valued customers and the industry as a whole, please continue to check our website, or subscribe to our newsletter using the form to the left of this article. If you’d like any information on switching to new rate card, please contact our dedicated Customer Services Department on 0161 737 4545 and they will be happy to talk you through the offer and send confirmation of your new charges.