HM Revenue & Customs has begun consultation to extend landfill tax to illegal waste sites throughout England and Northern Ireland.
The proposition hopes that when material is disposed of at a site without a permit or licence, the material will be deemed disposed and liable to tax.
The move was proposed in this month’s Spring Budget by Chancellor Richard Hammond, who also announced that contributions by landfill operators to the Landfill Communities Fund (LCF) will be increased to 5.3 per cent.
If approved, the changes could be in place by April 2018.
The government has invested an additional £20 million into the Environmental Agency (EA) because of increased illegal activity within the waste sector.
The scope of the consultation read:
Following the announcement in Budget 2017, this consultation seeks views on proposals to extend the scope of Landfill Tax to material disposed of at illegal waste sites.
“Landfill Tax was devolved to Scotland in April 2015, and will be devolved to Wales from April 2018, so the proposals set out in this consultation only apply to England and Northern Ireland.”
Between 2015-16 the EA closed down no less than 989 illegal waste sites in England, despite there being a further 1,016 sites identified and a further 622 known sites in operation.
One example quotes a 2016 which featured the illegal dumping of 6,000 tonnes of waste, accumulating fines of £170,000. If that case was liable to tax, an additional £500,000 in tax would have been imposed, a penalty of up to 100 per cent and interest.
This would have meant a total liability of more than £1 million.
During a consultation in Scotland and Wales, the majority of respondents were found to support the move.