Scottish Landfill Tax (SLfT) is the replacement for the current UK Landfill Tax. It is an environmental tax - compensating for the impacts on our environment from unsustainable production and consumption. SLfT has been in operation since 1 April 2015.
SLfT is a cornerstone of Scotland’s Zero Waste Plan, encouraging the prevention, reuse and recycling of waste and helping keep valuable resources circulating in the Scottish economy.
The Scottish Government has also taken the opportunity to use SLfT as a deterrent to illegal dumping by bringing such activity under the scope of the tax. This will mean that in addition to any environmental penalties those found making an unauthorised deposit will be subject to SLfT.
Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)
Revenue Scotland works closely alongside a dedicated team within SEPA and has delegated a number of functions in support of this. Revenue Scotland also has an on-going data-sharing arrangement with SEPA to support our joint activities.
The set of secondary legislation introduced under LT(S)A 2014 includes:
- setting the rates of the tax
- introduction of procedures for overpaid tax, administering bad debt including bad debt relief (if a landfill operator’s customer becomes insolvent or bankrupt), writing off bad debts
- ability to change the types of materials taxed (setting qualifying material types)
- ability to create new material types (due to new technologies or wanting to subdivide existing materials) that will be subject to the tax
- ability to add or remove exempted material types
- ability to change how the tax due is calculated
- what information must be on Scottish Landfill Tax invoices
- methodologies for determining weight of material at a site
- ability to change credit/rebate qualifications (e.g. the removal of material from a site that has already been taxed gets credited to the landfill site operator etc.)
Revenue Scotland provides statistics on Scottish Landfill Tax.
Approach to compliance
Revenue Scotland will seek, wherever possible, to engage, encourage and inform those who are subject to SLfT legislation so as to secure compliance. Where breaches of the criminal law arise, Revenue Scotland will work with Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), Police Scotland and the Crown Office Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) to ensure that all offenders are dealt with in a proportionate manner by undertaking the appropriate enforcement action.
Revenue Scotland will come down hard on those who deliberately fail to comply, using all the sanctions at its disposal. These include civil penalties and prosecutions.
Revenue Scotland also has the power to take robust action to counteract tax avoidance, including under the general anti-avoidance rule for devolved taxes.