A consultation on whether to bring illegal waste sites within the scope of landfill tax in England and Northern Ireland has been launched after being announced last month as part of the Spring Budget.
The consultation, issued by HM Revenue & Customs, sets out the reasons for targeting illegal waste sites and considers how to define an illegal waste site, the persons liable for the tax and how to quantify the amount of tax due.
This would mean that people dumping waste illegally and who are caught will face a landfill tax bill along with other penalties.
At present, waste which is landfilled by permitted companies is taxed by HMRC at £86.10 per tonne for standard rate material and £2.70 per tonne for less polluting material.
But, according to HMRC, potential revenue lost from material disposed of at illegal sites each year could be “significantly higher” than £150 million. And, it said it was keen to deter non-compliance with the law by making waste crime less profitable.
Illegal waste sites are defined in the consultation as those which are operated in an organised manner and dispose of large volumes of waste in direct competition with the legitimate waste management industry. By the end of 2015/16, the consultation notes that there were 622 known illegal waste sites operating in England alone.
“This consultation focuses on removing the perverse advantage that controllers of these sites have over the legitimate waste management industry”, the document explains.