The taxman will crack down on cross-border coal smuggling ahead of a hike in the carbon tax.

CPL Fuels, one of Ireland's largest coal merchants, estimates a fifth of the coal sold in the Republic was brought south without paying tax.

The company told the Sunday Business Post it was being undercut by smugglers who are already evading two and a half thousand euro in V-A-T per load.

The Revenue Commissioners are making plans for a series of joint operations with local councillors.

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