Description of key terms used in Landfill Disposals Tax (LDT) statistics published by the Welsh Revenue Authority (WRA).

First published:
15 August 2019
Last updated:


There are three rates of LDT:

The tax rates for 2018-19 to 2020-21 are shown in the table below:


Standard rate

Lower rate

Unauthorised disposals rate


£88.95 per tonne

£2.80 per tonne

£133.45 per tonne


£91.35 per tonne

£2.90 per tonne

£137.00 per tonne


£94.15 per tonne

£3.00 per tonne

£141.20 per tonne

A taxable disposal at an authorised landfill site will be charged at the standard rate, unless the material being disposed of consists entirely of one or more qualifying materials or is a qualifying mixture of materials (in which case the lower rate will be charged).

A taxable disposal made at a place other than an authorised landfill site will be liable to be charged at the unauthorised disposals rate. This is regardless of the nature of the material disposed of and whether it would otherwise be subject to the standard rate or lower rate if disposed of at an authorised landfill site.

For more information, please see the LDT technical guidance.

Accounting periods

Each landfill site operator agrees a quarterly accounting period with the WRA for making an LDT return, which must be received by the last working day of the month following the end of the accounting period.

Most landfill site operators work to standard calendar quarters (April to June, July to September, October to December, and January to March). Therefore, the data for any given quarter is included on a single LDT return for that landfill site operator. These returns are due to be received by the WRA by the last working day of the month after that quarter ends (July, October, January and April).

However, a small number of landfill site operators work to alternative three-month periods (for example May to July, or June to August). These returns would be received by WRA by the last working day of the following month (end of August or end of September in these examples). The adjustments made to data supplied by these operators are set out in the Methods section of the statistical releases.


Certain disposals of material can be treated as exempt from LDT and therefore are not reported to the WRA. There is no data collected on these exempt disposals. Currently, there are two exempt disposals:

Multiple disposals of material at the same site

This is where material has previously been included in a tax return and tax paid on its disposal at the same site. This ensures that multiple disposals of the same material at the same authorised site will only be chargeable to LDT once.

Pet cemeteries

This applies to authorised landfill sites that only accept the disposal of pet carcasses or ashes (and any box or urn in which they are contained). As these disposals are exempt, operators of such cemeteries are not required to register with the WRA to account for LDT. The exemption does not cover other authorised landfill sites that accept both the remains of pets and other types of waste.


Reliefs can be claimed on certain lower rate taxable disposals at authorised sites. In such cases, the tax is not charged provided the relief is claimed in a tax return. Reliefs are grouped into four general categories:

  • material removed from bed of river, sea or other water by dredging;
  • material resulting from mining and quarrying;
  • refilling open-cast mines and quarries; and
  • site restoration

Water discounts

A landfill site operator may apply to the WRA for approval to apply a water discount in respect of water present in material when calculating the taxable weight of the material in a taxable disposal. The circumstances in which the water discount may be applied is restricted to legitimate cases where the adding or use of water is necessary. Applications may be made where the water is necessarily present in the material for the following purposes:

  • it had to be added to enable the material to be transported for disposal;
  • it had to be added to extract a mineral;
  • it had to be added in the course of an industrial process;
  • it arose as a necessary consequence of an industrial process; or
  • the material is a residue from the treatment of effluent or sewage at a water treatment works.

Landfill site operators claim the water discount in their tax return by providing details of the tonnage of water to be discounted for each accounting period. It is not included in any weight reported as subject to the lower or standard rates.

For more information on exemptions, reliefs and discounts please see the technical guidance on the WRA website and the legislation for Landfill Disposals Tax (Wales) Act 2017.

Unauthorised disposals

A disposal of material as waste may be liable to LDT regardless of where the disposal is made. Disposals made outside of an authorised landfill site can be liable to the unauthorised disposals rate (£137.00 per tonne for 2019-20). This rate is applied without distinction to all material disposed, regardless of whether the material is subject to standard rate or qualifies for the lower rate. None of the exemptions or reliefs that apply to disposals at authorised landfill sites are available to unauthorised disposals.

More information on unauthorised disposals can be found on the WRA website.