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Key points

For waste disposed to landfill in the period April to June 2020:

  • There were 179 thousand tonnes of authorised disposals. This is a fall of 28% compared with the same period in 2019. Coronavirus (COVID-19) has had a major impact on the businesses of some landfill site operators and is likely to be a factor in the level of waste disposed and tax due for this period.
     
  • These disposals resulted in £5.2 million tax due. This is a fall of nearly half from the same period in 2019.
     
  • There is evidence of a seasonal pattern in the data. Shorter days in winter months are potentially a factor.
     
  • The five landfill site operators paying the most tax accounted for 84% of the total tax due.
     
  • There are 17 authorised landfill site operators covering 23 sites. More information on these landfill site operators can be found on the Welsh Revenue Authority (WRA) website.
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Chart 1 shows the weight of and tax due on waste disposed to landfill, by quarter.

About these statistics

Introduction of LDT

From April 2018, Landfill Disposals Tax (LDT) replaced Landfill Tax in Wales. We, the Welsh Revenue Authority, collect and manage LDT. The tax is designed and made in Wales and the revenue raised will support Welsh public services.

Like Landfill Tax, LDT is a tax on waste disposed to landfill and is charged by weight. Landfill site operators pay the tax and they pass these costs on to other waste operators through their gate fee.

The purpose of the tax is to:

  • reduce the amount of waste going into landfill
     
  • encourage less harmful methods of waste management such as recycling and incineration

Value of LDT statistics

LDT statistics are a valuable source of data on the amount of waste going into landfill.

Forecasting LDT revenues for Wales in future is an important use of LDT statistics. It is mainly the Welsh Government and the Office for Budget Responsibility that do this.

Data available for LDT

All of the data used in this statistical release is available in a spreadsheet on the headline statistics page.

Data is also available on the StatsWales website.

Key quality information and glossary pages

Please see the separate glossary and key quality information pages while reading this statistical release:

  • We define relevant terms in the glossary as they are used in this release
     
  • Our key quality information page describes how LDT statistics meet the Code of Practice for Statistics and the dimensions of value, trustworthiness and quality

Revisions to LDT statistics

The quarterly estimates in this release are based on the latest three-month accounting period for each landfill site operator. Each LDT return may be verified as part of mitigation and recovery work that the WRA carries out routinely and may therefore be revised in future.

In the following section, we explain the methods we use to derive the statistics from the data supplied in the returns.

Methods used in this release

Accounting periods

Most landfill site operators report to the WRA using standard accounting periods. These align with the end of our reporting quarters.

A small number of landfill site operators use different start and end dates for reporting to the WRA. We explain here how we account for this issue when producing estimates for the current and previous reporting quarters.

In the example shown below:

  • Operator 1 has a standard accounting period
     
  • Operator 2 has agreed a different accounting period with the WRA. The start and end points are different to our standard reporting quarters

The diagram shows a timeline of the previous return and latest return for Operators 1 and 2. Letters A, B and C denote parts of the previous and latest return for Operator 2 and how these are used in the calculation.

A + B: Two thirds of the previous return and one third of the latest return are used to give estimates for the previous quarter.

C: The portion of the return covering the latest period is uplifted to give estimates for the current quarter. The uplift is pro-rata based on the number of days in the current quarter covered by the return.

Reliefs and discounts

Where waste is referred to as relieved, landfill site operators initially record this as lower rate waste then subtract it off in a later part of their return. This release reports the relieved waste within the relieved or discounted category but not as part of the lower rate category. Also, the weight of any discounted waste due to water discounts is included only in the relieved or discounted category.

Unauthorised disposals

No data are yet available on unauthorised disposals. We will keep this under review. When we have enough data, we will provide more detail on our approach to publishing information about unauthorised disposals.

Customer insolvency

The LDT system allows for a credit to be made against the tax due for customer insolvency. This is when a customer of the landfill site operator has gone out of business and is unable to pay the operator for the waste disposed to landfill.

Previously, a very small amount of credit was claimed by one operator in the reporting quarter July to September 2018. However, the WRA rejected this claim and tax was due on this amount.

A small amount of credit was claimed by one operator for the reporting quarter July to September 2019. The WRA approved this claim. In this statistical release, we have subtracted the amount claimed from the total tax due.

Exempt disposals

Certain disposals of material can be treated as exempt from LDT and therefore are not reported to the WRA. We do not collect data on these exempt disposals.

Analysis

Tax rates that apply to Tables 1a and 1b

The Welsh Government has set rates that match those in the rest of the UK for 2018-19 to 2020-21.

  Standard rate Lower rate Unauthorised disposals rate
(not in Tables 1a and 1b)
2018-19 £88.95 per tonne £2.80 per tonne £133.45 per tonne
2019-20 £91.35 per tonne £2.90 per tonne £137.00 per tonne
2020-21 £94.15 per tonne £3.00 per tonne £141.20 per tonne

Table 1a: Weight of waste disposed to landfill [1] [5]

Disposed weight ('000 tonnes) [2]
  Relieved or discounted [3] Lower rate Standard rate Total [4]
2019-20 (r) 139 427 392 959
Apr-Jun 32 106 110 248
Jul-Sep 23 139 116 277
Oct-Dec 31 95 80 206
Jan-Mar (r) 54 87 87 228
2020-21 to date (p) 44 83 53 179
Apr-Jun (p) 44 83 53 179

Landfill Disposals Tax statistics by reporting period, tax rate and measure on StatsWales (includes data for 2018-19, not presented above)

[1]    This table does not include any information on unauthorised disposals as no data are yet available.
[2]    Weights presented have been rounded to the nearest 1,000 tonnes.
[3]    This includes weight of water removed from disposed waste, which is zero rated, and the weight of all waste which is subject to any LDT relief.
[4]    Totals presented have been calculated based on the unrounded values.
[5]    The table excludes a small number of amendments to tax returns which we have received. This is because we are assessing the risk of disclosing information about an individual taxpayer.
(p)    The values are provisional and will be revised in a future publication.
(r)     The values have been revised in this publication.

In April to June 2020, there were 179 thousand tonnes of authorised disposals. This is a fall of 28% when compared with the same period in 2019. This was largely driven by a fall in disposals at the standard rate, with a smaller fall in disposals made at the lower rate of tax.

In April to June 2020, the weight of relieved and discounted waste increased from the same period in 2019. However, the level of relieved and discounted waste in three months April to June 2020 (44 thousand tonnes) remained below the average value for the eight quarters from April 2018 to March 2020 (63 thousand tonnes).

The LDT operations team is in regular discussions with landfill site operators about the effects of coronavirus (COVID-19) on their businesses. Coronavirus has had a major impact on the business of some landfill site operators. It is likely that the falls in standard rate and lower rate disposals are largely due to coronavirus. The impact of coronavirus on the waste sector for the remainder of the 2020-21 year is uncertain.

Table 1b: Tax due on waste disposed to landfill [1] [5]

Tax due (£ millions) [2]
  Lower rate Standard rate Total [3] Relieved tax amount [4]
2019-20 (r) 1.2 35.8 37.0 0.3
Apr-Jun 0.3 10.0 10.3 0.1
Jul-Sep 0.4 10.5 10.9 ~
Oct-Dec 0.3 7.3 7.6 0.1
Jan-Mar (r) 0.3 7.9 8.2 0.1
2020-21 to date (p) 0.2 5.0 5.2 0.1
Apr-Jun (p) 0.2 5.0 5.2 0.1

Landfill Disposals Tax statistics by reporting period, tax rate and measure on StatsWales (includes data for 2018-19, not presented above)

[1]    This table does not include any information on unauthorised disposals as no data are yet available.
[2]    Values presented have been rounded to the nearest £0.1 million.
[3]    Totals presented have been calculated based on the unrounded values.
[4]    This is the reduction in tax due to the applications of reliefs. The amount does not include any element for water discount, which is not taxed.
[5]    The table excludes a small number of amendments to tax returns which we have received. This is because we are assessing the risk of disclosing information about an individual taxpayer.
(p)    The values are provisional and will be revised in a future publication.
(r)     The values have been revised in this publication.

The disposals for April to June 2020 resulted in £5.2 million of tax due. This is a fall of nearly half from the same period in 2019. As highlighted in the commentary below Table 1a, coronavirus (COVID-19) is likely to be a major factor in this fall.

There is evidence of a seasonal pattern in the data, with shorter days in winter months potentially a factor. In future, we may be able to isolate these effects from the more general trends in the data. But we will need several years’ worth of data before that becomes possible.

In April to June 2020, the five landfill site operators paying the most tax accounted for 84% of the total tax due. In three-month periods prior to this, the figure has varied between 80-90%.

The relieved tax amount represents how much tax would have been due had the reliefs not have been applied.

There are 17 authorised landfill site operators covering 23 sites.

Table 2: Landfill Disposals Tax (LDT) paid to the WRA [1]

  Value of LDT payments (£ millions)
2019-20 37.2
Apr-Jun 9.2
Jul-Sep 10.1
Oct-Dec 10.9
Jan-Mar 7.1
2020-21 to date (p) 2.5
Apr-Jun 2.5

Landfill Disposals Tax statistics on tax paid, on StatsWales (includes data for 2018-19, not presented above)

[1]    Values presented have been rounded to the nearest £0.1 million.

In April to June 2020, we received £2.5 million of LDT payments. This is 73% lower than the same period in 2019.

The trends in these data usually differ slightly from the data on tax due. This is because these trends are influenced by the exact accounting periods agreed with the LDT operators and the resulting payment dates. This can lead to payments falling into different quarters to the activity they cover.

The difference has been much larger in this release. Some operators have agreed Time to Pay arrangements with the WRA where the coronavirus pandemic has impacted their revenue streams. The WRA have agreed with these operators that for disposals made in January to March 2020, payment of the tax due can be spread throughout the 2020-21 financial year. No such agreements have been made for tax due on disposals in April to June 2020.

Links to key quality information and glossary pages

The key quality information page describes how our Land Transaction Tax statistics meet the Code of Practice for Statistics and the dimensions of value, trustworthiness and quality.

We define relevant terms in the glossary as they are used in this release.

Feedback and contact details

We would be grateful for your feedback on these statistics, to help us improve them. Please contact us using the details below.

Statistician: Dave Jones

Telephone: 03000 254 729

Media

Telephone: 03000 254 770

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