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New landfill tax to benefit communities, say Scottish ministers

The Scottish Government has outlined proposals for its devolved landfill tax, due to come into force in 2015.

Launching a consultation on proposals, ministers said more of the new tax could be used to benefit communities around landfills, with a 10% increase to the current credit limit for communities fund contributions.

Areas and proposals outlined for consultation include:

  • Maintaining the current structure and rate when replacement takes place in 2015.
  • Examining refinements or enhancements of structure to support transition.
  • Tax to be administered by new Revenue Scotland body and collected by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).
  • Modifications to the list of lower rate materials.
  • New differential rates, for example on stabilised organic material or combustion residues.
  • Changes to the list of except materials.
  • Linking definitions of taxable activity more closely to environmental permitting.
  • Improving clarity around taxable and non-taxable activities on sites.
  • Centrally assessed tax returns system.
  • Auditing powers for SEPA.

Finance secretary John Swinney said: “I believe that the transfer of responsibility for Landfill Tax alongside the other new tax powers in the Scotland Act (2012) to the Scottish Parliament is a first and significant step towards establishing the principle that taxes paid in Scotland are best managed and set by those with Scotland’s interests in mind.

“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 consultation closes on 15 January 2013.

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