Tax Evasion: Fuels

Treasury written question – answered on 20th March 2014.

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Photo of William McCrea William McCrea Shadow Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow DUP Leader of the House of Commons

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer

(1) what estimate he has made of the loss of tax revenue arising from fuel laundering across the land border with the Republic of Ireland;

(2) how many prosecutions have been brought forward against those dealing in illegal fuel laundering in the last five years.

Photo of Nicky Morgan Nicky Morgan The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

No assessment has been made of the loss of revenue purely as a result of fuel laundering across the border with Ireland. However, tax gap figures published in the document at the following link estimates the market share for all illicit diesel in Northern Ireland at 12-13% in 2011-12. Petrol fraud is negligible.

The following table shows the number of individuals prosecuted for fuel fraud offences in Northern Ireland where this information is held up to 2010-11 the information collected recorded the number of prosecution cases—which could be against more than one individual, and is incomplete. In addition, it is not possible to split out those prosecuted solely for fuel laundering.

  Northern Ireland GB
2009-10 1 1
2010-11 1 1
2011-12 14 2
2012-13 7 4
2013-142 3 0
1 Not available. 2 To end of February 2014.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) fights fraud on a wide range of fronts, from special units performing thousands of roadside checks to raiding laundering plants. The UK has recently announced, jointly with Ireland, an improved new marker for rebated fuel, which will make it much harder to launder marked fuel and sell it at a profit.

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