SLfT7002 - Background and mechanism of the SLCF

SLfT guidance on the background and mechanism of the SLCF, including roles and responsibilities of the regulator, approved bodies and projects.

Under the LT(S)A 2014 the Scottish Ministers have the power to set the credit rate and objectives of the scheme whilst we (Revenue Scotland) have responsibility and powers to control and administer the SLCF scheme. The provisions in the Act also require that a landfill operator is only entitled to credit if they meet certain conditions i.e. to pay a sum only to an approved body.

The Scottish Landfill Tax (Administration) Regulations 2015 set out the legislative provisions underpinning the SLCF. The objects of the scheme are contained in regulation 29(5) and include protection of the environment, enhancements to the environment (such as public amenities in the vicinity of a landfill site), the maintenance, restoration or repair of a building of historic interest and projects that help sustain and improve the biodiversity of the landscape. Further detail on the objects of the scheme can be found in SLfT7005.

The regulator

The regulator, SEPA, will focus its regulatory effort on the approved bodies and will determine whether these organisations comply with the requirements of the regulations. SEPA will check that approved bodies have appropriate systems and procedures in place to comply with the obligations of the scheme. On occasion, SEPA may also have cause to examine the work undertaken by projects insofar as it relates to an assessment of whether an approved body has met its requirements under the regulations.

You should submit details of any contributions you receive from third parties to SEPA. We will reconcile data from the SLCF with SLfT returns you have made to us. A contribution payment must have been received by the approved body before it can be declared on the SLfT return and the appropriate credit claimed.

SEPA will assess all applications to become an approved body and keep and publish an accurate register. Registration will commence on 1 April 2015. Projects will enrol with an approved body and not the regulator.

If an organisation is not successful in their application to become an approved body, or they are an approved body who has had their registration revoked, they can appeal this decision to an independent panel set up by the Scottish Ministers.

Approved bodies

You will make contributions direct to an approved body (all such contributions will be notified to us as part of the SLfT return) and the approved body must notify SEPA within 7 days of receiving funds from you. Approved bodies enrol projects, ensure that money is spent in accordance within its objects and report to the regulator.

All approved bodies will be registered by the regulator SEPA, who act on behalf of us. The maximum administration cost for approved bodies is set at 10%, including any other costs such as VAT. It is anticipated that all approved bodies will keep administration costs as low as possible to ensure more funds go to the good causes intended. Failure to keep administration costs below 10% could result in SEPA placing conditions on the approved body or ultimately us revoking its registration.

When considering funding a project, approved bodies are not permitted to discriminate on the grounds of geographic location (other than in respect of vicinity rules) or the objective of the project.


Projects would seek access to funding from the scheme by contacting an approved body. If approached about securing funding then we, SEPA or landfill operators will point such projects to the register of approved bodies available from SEPA’s website from 1 April 2015.

SLCF-related money must be spent on the objects of the fund. Where these objects refer to ‘in the vicinity’ of an authorised or permitted landfill site or transfer station:

  • landfill site has the same meaning as in section 12(1) of the LT(S)A 2014. You do not have to contribute to the scheme for your landfill to be included as a ‘landfill’ for the purpose of the vicinity test, as long as you (the landfill operator for the site) were eligible at some point to contribute to the scheme;
  • a ‘transfer station’ is a facility authorised by SEPA for the storage and/or treatment of waste and which sends more than 2500 tonnes of waste per annum offsite for the purpose of landfill with a destination either inside Scotland or to the rest of the UK; and
  • the ‘vicinity of a landfill site or transfer station’ is regarded as being within a 10 mile radius.

As the environmental regulator for transfer stations and landfill sites, SEPA may be contacted to establish which sites may be applicable under the scheme. SEPA will publish a map of these that will be available from 1 April 2015.

The distribution mechanism for the SLCF is summarised by the diagram below.

SLCF Distribution Mechanism flow chart

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