Augean says it will seek support from the wider waste industry if a dispute over landfill tax assessment with Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs escalates.
The specialist waste management firm has reported a bill from HMRC for £1.9m with £0.2m interest covering three months in 2013. The disagreement is about whether sufficient tax was paid for the treatment and disposal of hazardous waste.
The company says it will “robustly challenge” the HMRC assessment.
The statement said: “Based on the legal and other advice received by the group over several years, Augean is very confident that the group has met its obligations in respect of landfill tax, consistent with the law and official guidance at the time.”
Augean says the assessment was issued by HMRC to protect itself against falling out of time because of a four-year limitation.
“Augean believes this assessment to be without merit and we will appeal,” it adds.
The company says the nature of landfill and different materials can lead to differences in opinion on the applicable rate of landfill tax, and it had taken extensive legal and other advice over several years.
“Should HMRC make further such assessments, for this and one other subsidiary, the total amount that could potentially be claimed could be very large.
”Augean intends to work with stakeholders in the sector about the broader adverse implications for the continued and necessary proper treatment of hazardous waste.
“The group will robustly challenge this landfill tax assessment and any other subsequent assessment it may receive from HMRC, through the tax tribunal system if appropriate.”
Andrew Bryce, who had previously been on the company’s board for over 10 years, is due to rejoin because of his experience of environmental law.