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Wales to take control of its landfill tax in four years

Legislation has been introduced to Parliament that would give the Welsh Government power to set a number of levies, including landfill, by April 2018.

The Treasury confirmed in November last year that Wales would be able to set its own landfill tax, but would receive correspondingly less money from the UK Government in the form of block grants.

Further details have now been set out in the Wales Bill launched by Welsh secretary David Jones and Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the Treasury.

The Bill said ‘complete control’ over the levy would be devolved. It read: “Based on initial discussions with the Welsh Government, the intention is to ‘switch off’ the UK-wide versions of the taxes insofar as they apply to Wales from April 2018.”

The Government said there “should be little or no increase in the compliance burden for taxpayers [landfill operators] operating at a single site in any part of the UK”.

But it warned because there would be separate rules for Wales, Scotland and the rest of the UK, landfill operators operating sites in both Wales and elsewhere in the UK “may experience an increase in compliance burden as up to three landfill tax returns may be needed”.

Operators of landfill sites in Wales will also no longer be eligible for a UK landfill tax credit.

The Bill said: “At the point when the tax is devolved, environmental bodies will be holding unspent funds derived from contributions by landfill operators across England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

“For two years after the devolution of this tax, these unspent funds will be allowed to be spent on projects in England, Northern Ireland and Wales. This will provide for any contributions made in respect of landfill activities in Wales to be used for projects in that locality.”

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