Land Remediation Tax Relief for Knotweed – Are you Missing Out?

It is not often you come across news that the Government is prepared to pay ‘over the odds’ to make contaminated land right again. You might even be partial to thinking “pigs might fly” before anything like that happens! However, on this occasion, it really does seem to be true!

Enter the Land Tax Expert!

Following the PCA Invasive Weed Conference, managing director of ‘E3 Consulting’ Alun Oliver FRICS, gave the recent PCA Invasive Weed Conference a brief overview of the availability of Land Remediation Tax Relief (LRTR). This tax relief can provide up to 150% relief against ‘Qualifying Land Remediation Expenditure’ and includes the cost of treating Japanese Knotweed on site (as well as remediating various other contaminants) for businesses subject to UK Corporation Tax.

150% Land Remediation Tax relief – Sounds too good to be true?!?

Land remediation tax relief (LRTR) for contaminated land has been available since 2001 to support the regeneration of brownfield sites. However, many developers, Japanese Knotweed contractors and taxpayers remain completely unaware of it through poor promotion by HMRC and many accountants having little or no experience in making claims.

To some, the sound of tax relief on up to 150% of the cost of cleaning up a site with Japanese Knotweed sounds ‘too good to be true’! But rest assured it is certainly not a pipe dream or aggressive (or abusive) tax planning, but a discrete part of the UK tax code to overcome the barriers to bringing polluted sites back into economic and productive use.

How can I use the LRTR to my advantage?

Even though this 150% may not directly impact the revenue for an Invasive Weed Specialist (unless of course you are the lead developer ‘making right’ contaminated land), it will directly impact and be of value to the developers that you work with that do from time to time develop on contaminated land.

Use this information to your advantage to help win the business. Along with your everyday professionalism of being a PCA recognised Invasive Weed Specialist, when given the opportunity, help signpost your client to additional information on the Land Remediation Tax relief scheme. Alternatively, help make your client’s accountants more aware of the monies that they could be claiming back and benefiting from. It may just be the additional ‘nugget of information’ that helps you build additional trust and repour with your client that leads to you to be the Invasive Weed Specialist winning the cleanup contract for the knotweed contaminated land!

How do companies qualify for the Land Remediation Tax Relief?

To be eligible for the LRTR tax savings there are a couple of key things that must be met:

  1. The company/developer incurring the costs must be a UK corporation taxpayer.
  2. The company/developer incurring the costs must NOT be the polluter – I.e. responsible for contaminating the land with Japanese Knotweed or other types of pollution.
  3. The Knotweed contamination (or another form of pollution) must cause significant harm, or have the potential to cause significant harm to the future occupants, site operatives and/or the ecosystem including controlled watercourses.
  4. Lastly, the taxpayer must have a ‘Major interest in land’. This is either the freehold or a lease interest with at least 7 years unexpired.

How do I find out more?

If you are interested in finding out more or think it might be of benefit to a contractor/developer that you are currently working with, you can always get in contact with our own Peter Fitzsimons on 0844 375 4301 or click to contact us online.

Alternatively, feel free to contact Alun Oliver directly on 0345 230 6450 or email enquiries@e3consulting.co.uk where you may even get some extra advice towards incentives within commercial property projects and on the newly introduced Structures & Buildings Allowance.

Find out more about Japanese Knotweed