A quick reminder about the increase in the standard rate of Landfill Tax (LFT) and the expiry of exemption certificates for the reclamation of contaminated land.

Rate increase

LFT applies to all materials disposed of as waste by way of landfill at a landfill site unless the material is specifically exempt. From 1 April 2011, the standard rate of LFT will increase by £8 per tonne to £56 per tonne. The Government has said that the standard rate will continue to increase by £8 per tonne each year from 2011 to at least 2014 and that it will not fall below £80 per tonne from 2014 until at least 2020.

Exemption expiry

In addition to the costs associated with the increase in the standard rate, the exemption for material arising from the reclamation of contaminated land is being phased out. The deadline for applying for an exemption certificate for the reclamation of contaminated land was 30 November 2008. However, if anyone is sitting with such an exemption certificate and is waiting for the market to pick up before starting work on a site or selling it on, they would be well advised not to wait too long. All existing exemption certificates for the reclamation of contaminated land will expire on 31 March 2012, after which date landfill tax will become payable on disposals of waste.

New criteria for lower rate LFT

A final point to note is that new criteria for determining whether materials qualify for lower rate LFT are due to be published no later than 1 April 2011. Drafts of the criteria and the consequential update to the list of qualifying materials are available. Although it is expected that the list of qualifying materials will remain broadly unchanged, this is something to keep an eye on, given that the disposal of a material which has ceased to qualify could see a jump from the lower rate of £2.50 per tonne to the ever-increasing standard rate of LFT.