Following Revenue Scotland’s recent consultation on the guidance on landfill taxation rates for contaminated soils the decision has been made to revert back to the good old ‘dig and dump’ days of the past and to disregard the soil recycling industry with its certain demise.
Supported by SEPA, Revenue Scotland concluded that overall the responses to the consultation indicated significant support for Option 1 that in effect is the application of the lower rate of Landfill Taxation to perfectly good recyclable soils. This was not a surprise given that a considerable amount of responses were from landfill operators. Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas as landfill operators don’t vote for higher rates of landfill tax…!
So where does this leave us…? Well if you have Non-Hazardous contaminated soil on your site than it’s great news for you as you only have to pay the lower landfill tax rate at £3.25 per tonne (as of April 2023) and with an average gate fee of around £20 per tonne on site remediation will no longer be a consideration.
But what about Hazardous soils…? By rights your supposed to pay the standard rate of landfill taxation, £102.10 per tonne (as of April 2023), but as we all know it’s virtually impossible to visually distinguish between Haz and Non-Haz soils so the likely outcome is that your Haz soils will probably be ‘mistakenly’ excavated as Non-Hazardous soils and ‘inadvertently’ disposed of at the lower rate thus reducing your tax liability even further…!
Why has this come about…? Revenue Scotland held several meetings with waste industry practitioners where a proposal to tighten the former HMRC taxation guidance was tabled. But after three months of silence SEPA completely ignored the industry proposal and opted for softer regulations. Their overriding rationale being that they are finding it difficult to manage disposal sites, which are exempt from landfill licencing regulations, and ‘believe’ that by lowering the taxation rate that unscrupulous operators will suddenly change there ways and now dispose of soils at landfill sites. The industry has evidenced against SEPA’s belief but as they are the collector of the taxation for Revenue Scotland it was no surprise that the consultation found in favour of SEPA’s perverted views.
And what about the soil recycling and remediation industry…? We’re off to buy some lorries and shares in landfill sites…!
Long live ‘dig and dump’ and stuff recycling.