HMRC has provided new landfill tax guidance to landfill operators during the coronavirus restrictions. HMRC are aware that coronavirus (COVID-19) is likely to have an operational impact on landfill sites and has been discussing potential impacts with our customers. Based on these discussions, HMRC has provided clarification on available operational flexibility.
If you are using a weighbridge to calculate Landfill Tax, then in order to cut down on the handling of documentation it will not be necessary for weighbridge tickets to be signed by both the landfill site operator and the customer.
The new landfill tax guidance states that if you have a weighbridge and, as a result of disruptions caused by Covid-19, it becomes impractical for this to be used, you can use an alternative method of calculating the weight. Section 9 of Excise Notice LFT1 specifies three alternative methods that can be used for sites without a weighbridge, and you may temporarily use one or a mixture of these, or instead can propose a bespoke method that will produce a fair and reasonable calculation of weight.
You must notify HMRC via email if you intend to temporarily adopt one of the specified alternative methods for calculating the weight of material outlined in the published guidance. If you propose to use a bespoke method, then you will need to seek prior agreement from HMRC.
Whatever method you adopt you should return to using the weighbridge to calculate Landfill Tax as soon as is practicable.
Qualifying fines and Loss on Ignition tests
For Landfill Tax purposes, fines are particles produced by a waste treatment process that involves an element of mechanical treatment.
For fines to be treated as qualifying fines for the lower rate of landfill tax certain conditions, as set out in Section 6 of Excise Notice LFT1 must be met. This includes pre-acceptance checks and on receipt at the landfill site visual inspection and a Loss on Ignition testing regime.
While landfill sites are able to remain open to receive material, HMRC expect landfill site operatives to be able to continue carrying out visual inspections and collecting samples in line with the published guidance contained within the Excise Notice LFT1.
However, HMRC recognise that disruption to couriers may delay the delivery of samples to laboratories, who may themselves take longer than usual to carry out tests due to staff availability. Landfill site operators should look to demonstrate that samples have been submitted for testing in as timely a manner as possible. Landfill site operators should also look to demonstrate that appropriate action is taken by the landfill site operator upon receipt of results.
The requirement for Loss on Ignition retests to be carried out within a period of 21 days of the date of disposal of the material will be relaxed. If, as a result of the potential disruptions caused by Covid-19, you are unable to get the retest processed within this time frame, then this should be carried out as soon as is reasonably possible and you should retain evidence to demonstrate this.
A copy of the HMRC guidance can be accessed here.
If you require advice on your waste management operation, please contact one of the Jacksons’ team.