Scotland looks to clarify landfill tax rules

30th October 2012

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Retail and wholesale ,
  • Local government ,
  • Manufacturing ,
  • Waste ,
  • Business & Industry



The Scottish government is asking how it could best improve the tax regime when it takes over responsibility for taxing waste to landfill in 2015

In a new consultation, the administration confirms that it does not envisage significantly changing the structure of landfill tax in April 2015, when its devolved powers are expanded to include the tax. Nonetheless, it is asking waste producers, local authorities and landfill operators how the existing UK system could be made simplier.

The consultation asks in particular whether the list of materials qualifying for the lower tax rate should be made more consistent and easy to understand, and if there are any materials that could, in the longer run, be charged at a different tax rate.

The devolved government makes it clear that it does not intend to reverse previous changes made to the legislation regulating qualifying materials, but says it is “interested in views on any further refinements that could be made to create greater clarity for the sector”.

Scottish ministers also ask if any changes should be made to the list of exempt materials. The consultation document suggests, for example, that exempting hazardous materials, such as asbestos, could potentially help to reduce the illegal dumping of such waste by reducing disposal costs.

While not planning to overhaul the landfill tax system, the government is proposing aligning it with the permitting regime by having the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) administer the tax. Using SEPA will help to streamline processes and reduce the amount of administration associated with landfill tax, by enabling it to combine its tax collection duties with its existing permitting enforcement activities, according to the consultation.

“[Having SEPA administer the tax] will be an efficient and effective Scottish solution that builds on established competence and experience here,” said John Swinney, the Scottish finance secretary in launching the consultation.

“The Scottish government wants to take this opportunity to ensure that landfill tax, environmental protection legislation, regulation and compliance regimes are all aligned and working in the best interests of our environment and our economy.”

The devolved administration has included in the consultation core principles that future environmental taxation in Scotland should follow in future. These are that taxation should:

  • only be considered where they can demonstrably address or mitigate an environmental problem;
  • clearly signal to consumers and producers about the outcomes sought; and
  • not disadvantage Scottish companies.

The consultation, which closes on 15 January 2013, also outlines proposals for a Scottish replacement for the landfill tax communities fund, which would enable operators to contribute more than under the existing UK rules.

The Scottish government plans to introduce a new Landfill Tax Bill to the parliament next spring.


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

IEMA and IFoA publish guide to climate-related financial disclosures

IEMA and the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) have today published up-to-date guidance to help companies and individuals understand climate-related financial information.

22nd February 2024

Read more

Global corporations such as Amazon and Google purchased a record 46 gigawatts (GW) of solar and wind energy last year, according to BloombergNEF (BNEF).

13th February 2024

Read more

All major housing developments in England will be required by law to deliver at least a 10% increase in biodiversity under new rules that came into force today.

12th February 2024

Read more

The number of UK environmental charities reporting on the racial diversity of their workforce grew by more than half last year, according to figures released yesterday.

6th February 2024

Read more

This year’s climate conference served up mention of food systems for the first time. David Burrows explores the significance of this

1st February 2024

Read more

The crisis engulfing nature poses a massive risk to the global economy. Huw Morris reports on how the finance sector is adopting new measures for disclosing business activities and channelling investment

1st February 2024

Read more

Fossil fuel companies may soon be forced to pay out billions for their role in the climate crisis. Trial lawyer Jeffrey B Simon tells Chris Seekings about his groundbreaking lawsuit in the US

1st February 2024

Read more

Decarbonising the global economy will require a financing shift of historic proportions. Vivienne Russell assesses the scale of the challenge, the barriers and the opportunities

1st February 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close