By Daniel Hunter
Thirty new taskforces to crack down on tax dodgers will be launched by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in 2012/13.
The taskforces will target specific business sectors in specific locations where there is evidence of tax evasion. The likely targets include:
- the rag trade
- the motor trade
- indoor and outdoor markets.
HMRC expects to collect over £50m as a result of 12 taskforces launched in 2011/12 and, with 13 criminal investigations under way, this figure is set to rise.
HMRC will also extend some of the taskforces from 2011 to different locations, including the scrap metal taskforce launched in Scotland in November.
“The Government is committed to tackling tax evasion and avoidance. HMRC’s taskforces are cracking down on people who choose to break the rules and creating a level playing field for the majority who play by them," the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, said.
“It is completely unacceptable, at a time when we are trying to bring down the deficit that, while most hard-working people pay the right tax, there are others who try to get out of contributing their fair share. HMRC has received lots of useful information on its evasion hotlines, which shows that the honest majority are quite rightly fed up with the dishonest minority.”
HMRC’s Director of Local Compliance, Richard Summersgill, said:
“Taskforces only target people who are at high risk of breaking the rules and don’t pay the tax they owe. We know we’re going after the right people — some taskforces have hit rates of 100 per cent so far.
“Only those who choose to break the rules, or deliberately evade the tax they should be paying, will be targeted. If you deliberately seek to evade tax, HMRC 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 £917m spending review investment to tackle tax evasion, avoidance and fraud from 2011/12, which aims to raise an additional £7bn each year by 2014/15.
If you are aware of someone who is evading their taxes you can tell HMRC via the Tax Evasion Hotline on 0800 788 887, via email or by post. Full details can be found at www.hmrc.gov.uk
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