New taskforces have been launched by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in a bid to recover more than £23 million in unpaid tax.
The taskforces, launched on 31 May, will target traders who do not pay the right amount of tax in:
- indoor and outdoor markets in London
- taxi firms in Yorkshire and East Midlands
- property rentals in East Anglia, London, Yorkshire and the North East
- restaurants in the Midlands.
Taskforces are specialist teams that target specific, high risk trade sectors and locations in the UK, visiting traders to examine their records and carry out other investigations. HMRC launched 12 taskforces in 2011-12 and 30 more are due to follow in 2012-13.
Exchequer Secretary David Gauke said: “HMRC is on target to collect more than £50 million as a result of the taskforces launched in 2011-12.
“We have made it clear that we will not tolerate tax evasion – everyone needs to pay the taxes they owe in full. We are determined to crack down on the minority who choose to break the rules.”
HMRC’s Mike Eland, director-general, enforcement and compliance, said: “These new taskforces will bring together specialists from across HMRC to tackle tax dodgers.
“If you have paid all your taxes you have nothing to worry about. But deliberately evading tax you should be paying can land you with not only a heavy fine but possibly a criminal prosecution as well.
“This is not an empty threat – HMRC can and will track you down if you choose to break the rules.”