The Government continues to ramp up its efforts to tackle crime in the waste sector

The Government has announced new measures to tackle economic crime and money laundering in the waste sector. The Environment Agency has launched an Economic Crime Unit to investigate ‘waste crimes’ (such as fly-tipping and landfill tax evasion) and money laundering in the sector, and exercise powers to freeze and seize assets. The Unit will work with other law enforcement agencies such as the police and HMRC to gather intelligence and proactively pursue criminals.

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Jayne Harrold, Annabel Kerley, Charis Woollcombe Gambrill
Published: 21 Feb 2024 Updated: 21 Feb 2024
Business tax Financial fraud Tax

A recent Environment Agency survey found that 18% of all waste in England was perceived to be illegally managed. Waste which has been subject to unauthorised disposal can be subject to landfill tax at the standard rate, currently £102.10 per tonne, and 150% in Wales, currently at £153.15 per tonne.

How can we help?

Evelyn Partners can help you protect your business from becoming victim to, or implicated in, criminal activities:

  • Prevent and detect – our Risk team can review your control framework, ensuring you have processes in place to prevent and detect criminal behaviour and our Environmental tax team can help you get your tax right first time.
  • Investigate – our Forensics and Environmental tax teams can work with you to investigate suspected wrong-doing.  If any is identified, we will help you assess the potential financial exposure that has arisen and deal with any necessary tax disclosures.
  • Support – should you become subject to an investigation or asset freezing order, we will support you throughout that process. We have extensive experience working as Expert Witnesses and Witnesses of Fact in criminal and regulatory proceedings and helping businesses deal with extended HMRC enquiries, disputes resolution, and litigation where necessary.  

In a recent project we worked with a landfill site provider that suspected a customer was tipping mis-declared waste. We analysed the operational data from the landfill sites, investigating trends and anomalies in the data associated with particular customers and employees. We worked with the client’s legal counsel to produce an opinion on the potential tax exposure to help the client get comfort on the risk that fraud had taken place, quantify the potential impact on the business and understand their responsibilities to HMRC.

By necessity, this briefing can only provide a short overview and it is essential to seek professional advice before applying the contents of this article. This briefing does not constitute advice nor a recommendation relating to the acquisition or disposal of investments. No responsibility can be taken for any loss arising from action taken or refrained from on the basis of this publication.

Tax legislation

Tax legislation is that prevailing at the time, is subject to change without notice and depends on individual circumstances. You should always seek appropriate tax advice before making decisions. HMRC Tax Year 2023/24.

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