Landfill tax applies to all waste disposed at a licensed landfill site, unless the waste is specifically exempt. It was introduced on 1 October 1996.
The tax is charged by weight and there are two rates:
- A lower rate for ‘inactive waste’ – such as rocks or soil, currently £2.90 per tonne.
- A standard rate for all other waste, currently £91.35 per tonne.
Rates are updated by the Government annually and come into effect on 1 April each year. Landfill tax was devolved to the Scottish Government in April 2015, where it was replaced with ‘Scottish landfill tax’. Landfill tax was also devolved to the Welsh Government in April 2018, where it has been replaced with the ‘landfill disposals tax’. The Scottish and Welsh Governments have both announced rates that match those set by the UK Government.
As these taxes are all similar in design and the ONS combines them when recording them in the National Accounts, we have combined them in our latest forecast and on this page. For more information on devolved landfill taxes, please see our Devolved tax and spending forecasts publication.
In our latest forecast, we expect landfill tax to raise £0.8 billion in 2019-20. We expect 78.1 per cent of this total to come from UK Government landfill tax, with the remaining 16.7 and 5.2 per cent coming from the Scottish landfill tax and Welsh landfill disposals tax respectively. Together, the £0.8 billion total would represent 0.1 per cent of all receipts, and is equivalent to around £25 per household and 0.03 per cent of national income.