No prosecutions for landfill tax fraud have taken place for three years, parliament has heard.
Answering questions from Labour MP Kevan Jones, Nicky Morgan, economic secretary to the Treasury, said: “HMRC take the timely payment of landfill tax very seriously.”
In the previous three years 42 cases had arisen where HM Revenue & Customs had demanded security from a company that it feared might not pay the tax, she noted.
In 2013 alone there had been 18 such cases, involving payments totalling £120m.
Morgan said HMRC carries out compliance checks such as audits and site visits to check tax payments.
She explained: “HMRC also analyses landfill operators’ returns to monitor whether companies are paying on time and accurately.
“Where tax has not been paid or HMRC believes there is a serious risk of not being paid, HMRC can require payment of a security as a tool to enforce compliance.
“Where the use of securities action does not produce the required behavioural change then the company involved may be referred with a view to prosecution.
She added: “There have been no criminal prosecutions for landfill tax fraud in the last three years.