Andrew Bridgen raises his concerns about the potential for fraud in the new testing regime for landfill tax

16th June 2015

Speaking on the introduction of a new testing regime for landfill tax, Andrew Bridgen raises concerns about the potential for fraud in the sampling regime and what samples are taken for testing from a large load of waste.

Andrew Bridgen (North West Leicestershire) (Con): Does my hon. Friend the Minister appreciate that it is a given that the higher the tax, the greater the incentive for people in the industry to evade the tax? What will the sampling regime be? Who will take samples of the waste and determine what grade of landfill tax is applicable?

Damian Hinds: Landfill operators must take a certain number of samples per customer load, depending on the risk profile of that customer. So if the operator has never had a difficulty with a customer before, rightly they should use a light touch, but where there have been problems before, that frequency should increase. There is a loss on ignition test to find out what volume of the sample is degradable and in its steady state there is a limit of 10%, but for a limited period of a year, to allow industry to make the transition, a slightly higher rate of 15% will be allowed.

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Andrew Bridgen: Can the Minister see that the next area of potential tax evasion will be the sampling regime and what samples are taken from a large load of waste?

Damian Hinds: There is probably no fool-proof or fraud-proof system of taking samples. People will seek to get around the regime, but the challenge in compliance is to interrupt that activity and stop it. In the past 15 months HMRC has accelerated its response to tax aspects of waste crime. It has a range of responses, including criminal and civil investigations, and the national waste sector task force takes cross-tax approaches.

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