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Legal 500, 2018

02 January 2020

UT Decision: Devon Waste, Biffa and Veolia v HMRC

The Upper Tribunal released its Decision in (1) Devon Waste Management Limited (2) Biffa Waste Services Limited (3) Veolia ES Landfill Limited (4) Veolia Cleanaway (UK) Limited v The Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and Biffa Waste Services Limited v The Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

The Upper Tribunal, after considering and applying the earlier Court of Appeal decision in Waste Recycling Group, agreed with the taxpayers that material referred to in the landfill industry as “fluff” or “EVP”, being (usually) domestic black bag waste that is sometimes shredded and is placed against the base, sides and tops of landfill cells to prevent damage to the cell lining and cap and to limit pollution of the environment, was not subject to landfill tax because there was no intention of discarding that material, as evidenced conclusively by its use.

The decision is considered in the landfill industry to be of significant importance.

Zizhen Yang, led by Roderick Cordara QC, were Counsel, instructed by KPMG LLP and Ernst & Young LLP to act for Devon Waste Management Limited in the first appeal and for Biffa Waste Services Limited in both appeals.

To see the approved decision, click here.

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