Minister outlines scale of HMRC landfill tax investigations

HMRC has targeted 78 landfill site operators to ensure that they are paying the correct level of landfill tax for their operations in the last two years, a government minister has revealed.

Last week, Financial Secretary to the Treasury Jane Ellison responded to questions over the level of outstanding landfill tax owed to the public purse raised by the North Durham MP Kevan Jones.

HMRC’s Westminster offices

Ms Ellison revealed that over the past five years, HMRC has issued 51 Landfill Tax assessments totalling £94.3 million, including 37 civil penalties totalling £2.2 million.

In addition she said that HMRC has commenced compliance interventions targeting 78 landfill site operators since April 2015, with 28 of these coming in the last 12 months.

Compliance

In her response, the minister said: “HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) takes a risk-based approach to tackling all non-compliance, including those relating to Landfill Tax fraud. This means that it does not routinely allocate compliance budgets for individual taxes, but instead responds flexibly with civil and criminal investigations based upon the risks involved.

“For Landfill Tax, over the past five years HMRC has issued 51 Landfill Tax assessments totalling £94.3m, including 37 civil penalties totalling £2.2m. In addition, since April 2015, HMRC has commenced 78 compliance interventions targeting landfill site operators, and in the last 12 months visited 28 landfill sites.”

The minister also highlighted HMRC’s ‘Measuring Tax Gaps’ publication, published in October 2016, which suggested that a landfill tax ‘gap’ of close to £150 million emerged in 2014/15. The gap relates to the classification of material at the standard or lower rate of landfill tax.

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