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Minister says industry misunderstood skip tax guidance

A minister has insisted there has been no change in tax policy on waste going to landfill sites - accusing the industry of “misintepreting” official guidance.

Exchequer secretary David Gauke told the House of Commons the waste industry had misunderstood guidance from HM Revenue and Customs on the landfill tax.

Skip operators threatened to disrupt the Jubilee celebrations in protest at what they saw as an overnight tax hike of 2,460 per cent on disposing of some kinds of waste.

But, responding to a question from a Labour MP, Gauke said: “There have not been any changes on skips.

“There was operational guidance HMRC produced, which I understand was misinterpreted by the industry, and HMRC has clarified that. There has been no change in the policy on skips.”

Later, Scunthrope’s Labour MP Nic Dakin asked: “Will the minister engage with the industry as he has engaged with other industries on eligibility of fines residue coming from tromelling equipment for the lower rate?”

Gauke said he believed HMRC was continuing to work with industry and there “was a misinterpretation of the earlier advice and I believe that is in the process of being addressed”.

The waste industry and Government agencies last week agreed to work together to show how residue from recycled construction materials can qualify for the lower rate of landfill tax. It comes after three weeks of confusion and anger about tax rates for sending certain materials to landfill.

Readers' comments (1)

  • David Gauke should read the legislation and guidance in more detail and look at what happens on the ground. The issue is not about policy on skips but outputs from recycling operations. The clarification effectively represents a wholesale change, unintended or not. I have, however, just had a constructive discussion with HMRC - the key issue is ensuring that the waste is qualifying material and is correctly described. The grey area is what description do we use for soil based fines that the operators, landfills and HMRC are happy with? Just entering EWC 19 12 12 with a one word description is no longer enough.

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