The recently approved Law 7/2022 of 8 April on waste and contaminated land for a circular economy (Waste Law) aims, among others, to reduce the generation of waste and improve the management of waste whose generation cannot be avoided. To this end, two new taxes are developed with the aim of discouraging less favorable management options from the point of view of the waste hierarchy principle.

Although the Waste Act entered into force on 10 April 2022, a specific entry into force regime is envisaged for Environmental Taxes, effective from 1 January 2023.

Title VII of the Waste Act develops two new taxes:

Special tax on non-reusable plastic packaging (Articles 67 to 83)

This is a special indirect tax of an environmental nature, which is levied on the use of non-reusable packaging containing plastic, whether it is empty or whether it is used to contain, protect, handle, distribute or present goods.

The tax rate is set at 0.45 euros per kilogram, the tax liability being the amount resulting from applying this tax rate to the taxable base.

Taxpayers who carry out the activities of manufacturing, importing or intra-Community acquisition of products subject to the tax shall be obliged to register in the Territorial Register of the special tax on non-reusable plastic packaging.

The self-assessment period for the tax shall be determined by the self-assessment period for Value Added Tax purposes. On the other hand, in the case of taxpayers who carry out import activities, the tax will be settled in the manner provided for in customs regulations.

Tax on the deposit of waste in landfill sites, incineration and co-incineration of waste (Articles 84 to 97)

This is also a special tax with an indirect environmental purpose, levied on the delivery of waste to landfills, incineration or co-incineration plants for disposal or energy recovery.

It is a tax devolved to the Autonomous Communities with the aim of promoting waste prevention, preparation for re-use and recycling, in order to discourage the deposit of waste in landfills, incineration and co-incineration.

The managers of landfills and incineration or co-incineration facilities will act as substitutes for the taxpayer when they are different from those who carry out the taxable event, being obliged to pay the tax, as well as to comply with the formal census and accounting obligations inherent to it.

The Waste Act establishes tax rates depending on the type of installation and the type of waste, which may be increased by the Autonomous Communities.

It also obliges local authorities to create, within a maximum period of three years from the entry into force of this law, a specific, differentiated and non-deficient tax, which will allow the implementation of systems of payment per generation and which will reflect the real, direct or indirect cost of waste collection, transport and treatment operations.

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