More than 60 sites received unannounced visits from the Environment Agency and HM Revenue and Customers (HMRC) officers yesterday in what was described as their “biggest single joint day of action” on suspected waste crime.
The action comes on the same day as the Agency reported that its investigation into “dozens of giant heaps of waste” dumped illegally across Southern England has led to an arrest.
As part of the day of action (23 May), officers visited sites across Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire and Leicestershire to follow up on specific reports of activity carried out illegally, such as burning of commercial waste or vehicle dismantling.
HMRC is working jointly with the Environment Agency and other partners to help waste site operators understand what they need to do to comply with their tax obligations in relation to operating a waste site.
“Advice and guidance will be offered to legitimate businesses, and follow-up visits made to sites where criminal and illegal activities are confirmed,” the Agency said.
Pete Stark, enforcement team leader with the Environment Agency, said: “Waste criminals like those we’re tracking down today flout the law and put our communities and our environment at risk.
“That’s why we’re working closely with HMRC to tackle waste crime and make sure businesses are following environmental and financial laws.”
“We want to create a level playing field for those that comply with tax requirements in the waste sector.Emilia Armattoe-Fowler,
Emilia Armattoe-Fowler, HMRC, added: “We want to create a level playing field for those that comply with tax requirements in the waste sector. That’s why we’re working with the Environment Agency to tackle non-compliance at unauthorised waste sites, helping them get their right tax at the right time.
“Any person or business that disposes of material at an unauthorised waste site, or knowingly causes or permits the disposal, may be jointly and severally liable for Landfill Tax and a penalty of up to 100% of the tax due, or face criminal prosecution.”
Evidence gathered from the visits will be used against any operators found breaking the law, according to the Agency.