“Lack of clarity” on the application of the lower rate of landfill tax will lead to higher skip prices, the skip hire trade body has said.
In response to an informal consultation on further guidance on the eligibility of materials for the lower rating of the tax, the United Resource Operators Confederation (UROC) expressed concerns over ambiguities around trommel fines.
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) announced in May 2012 that waste products from recycling processes, grit and screenings would no longer be eligible for the lower £2.50 per tonne rate of landfill tax applied to inert material and would be charged the full rate, currently £72 per tonne.
After HMRC put out further guidance on the matter, UROC argued it remained unclear what form of evidence would be acceptable to apply for the lower rating of landfill tax for trommel fines.
It also pointed out it was almost never possible to determine the exact origin and nature of the fines, as HMRC suggested in the document.
UROC then warned that the lack of clarity would have widespread consequences.
“Operators will have no choice but to always err on the side of caution and class all trommel fines as standard rated,” it said
“Disposal at the higher rate will cause a direct increase in skip prices and is highly likely to result in a rise of unscrupulous operators undercutting legitimate business and result in increased fly-tipping that will blight communities and put additional pressure on the already stretched resources of enforcement authorities tasked with regulating such matters.”
The confederation urged HMRC to consult further with the industry and suggested delaying the publication of the revised guidance, which was expected for 11 November.
UROC also complained it had not been involved in the decision-making process. But it welcomed an HMRC’s invitation to hold a meeting on 5 November to address the issues expressed by the sector.