This has always been an environmental crime; however, until now material disposed of at unauthorised waste sites has not been subject to Landfill Tax. With no Landfill Tax to pay, rogue operators were able to undercut legitimate operators and make significant profits, at the expense of both the legitimate trade and the environment.
These sites, which ought to have an environmental permit or licence for disposals but do not, will now be within the scope of Landfill Tax. This will allow for far stronger penalties against rogue operators and those using these sites to dump their waste. From 1 April, HMRC can tax any person or business who makes a disposal at an unauthorised waste site, or knowingly causes or permits the disposal may be liable for Landfill Tax, and a penalty of up to 100% of the tax due, and face criminal prosecution.
David Richardson, Director General, HMRC said:
“For too long fraudsters have dodged paying tax and dumped waste in illegal sites. These greater powers announced today will hit criminals where it hurts the most - their pockets – and help keep our countryside clean.”
HMRC will work closely with the Environment Agency, Northern Ireland Environment Agency, the Police and other partners to take action against those that continue to operate outside of the law.
Sir James Bevan, Chief Executive of the Environment Agency, said:
"The message is clear: waste crime does not pay. Those who seek to damage the environment and blight communities by dumping waste irresponsibly will be made to foot the bill for their crimes.”
This measure come on top of cross government work to protect the environment. On the same day, DEFRA is announcing the councils will have the power to almost double maximum on-the-spot fines for littering and graffiti from £80 to £150, showing that whether people are littering on a small or a large scale the penalties are high.