By Marcus Leach

A new taskforce to tackle tax evasion in the construction industry was announced on Monday by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

The taskforce will target construction traders in the North West and North Wales who are self employed or who run their own companies, where suppression of sales or over-claiming expenses is identified.

Taskforces are specialist teams that undertake intensive bursts of compliance activity in specific high risk trade sectors and locations across the UK.

“These taskforce will come down hard and fast on those who have chosen to break the rules and deliberately evade the taxes they should be paying. Honest businesses, however, have absolutely nothing to worry about," Mike Wells, HMRC's Director of Risk and Intelligence, said.

“HMRC is clear — if you deliberately seek to evade tax we can and will track you down and you’ll face not only a heavy fine, but possibly a criminal prosecution as well.”

Taskforces come as a result of the Government’s £900m spending review re-investment to tackle tax evasion, avoidance and fraud from 2011/12, which aims to raise an additional £7 billion each year by 2014/15.

HMRC is planning 12 taskforces in 2011/12, with more to follow in 2012/13.

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