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HMRC to launch 30 new taskforces in 2012/13

24 Feb 2012

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is to launch 30 new taskforces in 2012/2013 to crack down on those attempting to evade tax. 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; and
  • 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 also plans to extend some of the taskforces from 2011 to cover different locations. Among these will be the scrap metal taskforce which was launched in Scotland in November.

The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, said:

“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.

“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.”

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