New regulations were introduced in England and Wales on 1 January 2020 regarding septic tanks, with the aim of reducing and controlling the level of pollution from sewage in watercourses. If you incurred expenditure in order to meet those new regulations, you should ensure this is declared correctly on your forthcoming tax return.

The new regulations mean that any property with a septic tank discharging into a watercourse has had to replace or upgrade their existing system.

The options available to meet the requirements included:

  • Installing a septic tank conversion unit to treat the sewage
  • Replacing of the septic tank with a small sewage-treatment plant
  • Connecting to a mains sewer
  • Installing an infiltration system to discharge into the ground

To ensure compliance with the regulations, this has resulted in some property owners incurring large amounts of expenditure.

With the tax return deadline of 31 January 2021 fast approaching, consideration should be made as to how this expenditure is declared for tax-relief purposes.

The declaration for tax will depend on whether the expenditure is revenue or capital in nature. We would therefore strongly advise that you seek professional tax advice prior to the tax return deadline to ensure that your expenditure has been declared in the correct way.

For informed advice on a wide range of rural property matters, please call Alex Orttewell or Richard Edge on 01935 852170 or email