Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Landfill tax

Landfill tax

Landfill Tax is a tax on waste that is disposed of at any landfill site. This includes sites that hold an environmental permit or should have a permit. The tax encourages people to reduce the amount of waste they send to landfill.

As the landfill site operator, you are responsible for paying Landfill Tax. However, you can normally pass the cost on to businesses and local authorities on top of normal landfill fees. VAT is charged on both the landfill fees and the Landfill Tax. The devolved Government in Scotland is now responsible for collection of the Scottish Landfill Tax (SLfT)

Rates and calculations

Landfill Tax is charged according to the weight of material deposited.

There are two rates of Landfill Tax; the lower rate only applies to wastes listed in the the appropriate legislation.

  • In Scotland this is the Landfill Tax (Qualifying Material) Order 2015
  • In Northern Ireland it is the Landfill Tax (Qualifying Material) Order 2011, as amended by the Landfill Tax (Qualifying Material) (Amendment) Order 2012

The higher rate applies to all other waste that is taxable for Landfill Tax purposes and is chargeable at the standard rate.

You can only apply the lower rate of tax if you can obtain and retain sufficient evidence. There is guidance you can refer to at:

HMRC: A general guide to landfill tax - for Northern Ireland

Revenue Scotland: A guide to the Scottish Landfill Tax

Rates of Landfill tax from 1 April 2021

In Northern Ireland

The lower rate is £3.10 per tonne.

The standard rate is £96.70 per tonne.

In Scotland

The lower rate is £3.10 per tonne

The higher rate is £96.70 per tonne

Working out the weight of waste

If you have a weighbridge at your site, HMRC will expect you to use it to calculate the weight of the waste. Your weighbridge must comply with weights and measures regulations. If you need advice on managing your weighbridge, you should get in touch with your local Trading Standards office.

Trading Standards Institute: Find your local Trading Standards office

If your weighbridge has broken down or there are other reasons you can't use it - for example, waste would not usually pass near the weighbridge and rerouting it would be very costly - you can ask HMRC or Revenue Scotland if you can use an alternative method of calculation.

In Northern Ireland if you are in any doubt or would like further help you can ring the HMRC VAT and Excise Helpline on 0300 200 3700.

In Scotland:

Revenue Scotland: Contact

Handling mixed loads that contain both standard-rated and lower-rated waste

Under some circumstances, you may ignore a small amount of standard-rated waste mixed in with lower-rated waste, and treat the whole load as taxable at the lower rate. HMRC and Revenue Scotland can provide guidance on how to treat mixed loads.

HMRC: A general guide to landfill tax

Revenue Scotland: A guide to the Scottish Landfill Tax

Registering with HMRC or Revenue Scotland

In Northern Ireland

You must register with HMRC in order to charge Landfill Tax for the waste disposed of at your site.

In Scotland

You must register with Revenue Scotland in order to chargs Scottish Landfill Tax for the waste disposed of at your site.

Recycling, sorting and incineration

You may be able to apply for part of your site to be designated as tax-free if you recycle, sort or incinerate waste. However, you should contact the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) or the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) before making any changes to your site, as you may need to change the conditions of your pollution prevention and control permit first.

Contact your environmental regulator

Landfill Communities Fund and the Scottish Landfill Communities Fund (SLCF)

If you make contributions to environmental bodies for projects that have environmental benefits, you may be able to claim tax credit as part of the Landfill Communities Fund scheme or the SLCF.

ENTRUST: Landfill Communities Fund - for Northern Ireland

Scottish Landfill Tax Funds - for Scotland

Further information

In Northern Ireland

HMRC: A general guide to landfill tax

HMRC: Landfill tax forms

In Scotland

Revenue Scotland: Guidance

Revenue Scotland: Forms

In this guideline

Pollution prevention and control permits for landfill sites

Wastes you cannot landfill

Waste acceptance at landfills

Designing and monitoring landfills

Landfill tax

Closed landfill sites

Environmental News Blog

NetRegs on NetRegs on youTube

View our latest videos & subscribe to our channel.

NetRegs Update Newsletter

Free monthly email newsletter with environmental updates for Northern Ireland and Scotland

Sign up for free today!


NIEA - Apply online

SEPA - Application forms