Waste Industry Welcomes Landfill Tax Fraud Crackdown
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Waste Industry Welcomes Landfill Tax Fraud Crackdown

posted in Nationwide Skip Hire by Skippy on 12:25 Nov 3rd, 2015

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A joint investigation by HM Revenue and Customers (HMRC) and local police forces in the north of England has resulted in a series of arrests for landfill tax fraud, including 14 dawn raids in one day at the end of September.

Authorities Get Tough On Waste Crimes

They have been accused of making millions from their elaborate fraud scheme, with 180 officers involved in the raids. The crimes committed by the group took place across the north east and parts of Yorkshire, with six commercial and eight residential addresses targeted.

“Today's activities are the culmination of 18 months' painstaking investigation into the suspected systematic abuse of the landfill tax system,” said Simon York, director at the HMRC fraud investigation service.

“We believe that over £78m revenue may be involved, money which could be used to fund some of the UK's most vital public services. No one is above paying their fair and legal share of tax, as the rest of us do, and we are closing in on those who try to cheat the system.”

News of the action by HMRC and the police was welcomed by the Environmental Services Association (ESA), which is responsible for the UK’s waste and recycling management industries. They have been campaigning against perpetrators of waste crimes, arguing that stronger action is needed to tackle landfill tax fraud.

“ESA has long been calling for a more joined up approach to fighting waste crime, and this recent announcement suggests that the regulators and government have been listening and, more importantly, are delivering,” said head of regulation at the organisation Sam Corp. “ESA and its members were also instrumental in persuading HMRC to tighten up on landfill tax regulation and we are pleased to see some evidence that this is now happening.”

He says that while this is good progress, more resources need to be given to regulators to give them the best possible chance to crack down on waste crimes and bring people involved to justice.

A recent report by the ESA which looked into waste crimes has helped to inject fresh life into the debate over waste crime, as cuts in policing budgets all over the country has made it a lower priority for some police forces. “The additional resources provided to regulators in the last two budgets helped to fund this important work, but it is important that adequate funding is sustained.” He continued.

He also urged businesses to be more vigilant against illegal waste operators and illegal waste practices which avoid landfill tax, engage in fly-tipping, or export waste in breach of EU regulations.

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