Melanie Hall QC, Brendan McGurk and David Gregory secure Court of Appeal victory against the landfill sector in a landmark test case

22 Apr 2021

In the last of a series of challenges brought by the UK’s landfill sector which has generated a decade of litigation in the Administrative Court, Tax Tribunals and the Court of Appeal, Monckton Chambers has secured a further victory on behalf of HMRC.

In a combined judgment handed down by Rose LJ, Nugee LJ and Newey LJ, the Court of Appeal unanimously overturned the decisions of the UT which had decided that substantial refunds of landfill tax were payable across the landfill sector. The Court of Appeal found that material known as “fluff”, even when shredded (as Biffa had done) did not give rise to any legally relevant use, as contended by the sector on the basis of the Court of Appeal’s judgment in Waste Recycling Group v HMRC [2008] EWCA Civ 849, [2009] STC. The FTT had been right to conclude that fluff was merely carefully emplaced waste on which landfill tax was therefore payable. Biffa’s decision to shred that waste made no difference.

Link to judgment here.

Melanie Hall QC, Brendan McGurk and David Gregory represented HMRC.