HMRC tackle SME tax evaders with regional taskforces

The HMRC have announced a series of regional crackdowns for tax evaders in various different sectors in different parts of the country. The scheme is expected to net £20m for the nation’s coffers.

An HMRC taskforce is specialist team that concentrates on a specific sector using bursts of intensive activity investigating businesses thought to be at high risk of evasion. The teams visit traders to inspect their records and ensure all is in order.

The taskforces will target lawyers and barristers in London and grocery and retail in Wales, the North West and the South West. Hair and beauty firms will be under the spotlight in the North East, restaurants in the South East and the motor trade in Scotland.

David Gauke, the Exchequer Secretary, said: “We have made it clear that we will not tolerate tax evasion and we are determined to crack down on the minority who choose to break the rules. Everyone needs to pay the taxes they owe in full. It is not fair that at a time when most hard-working people are paying the right tax, others are trying to get out of paying what they should.”

Mike Eland of the HMRC commented: “This taskforces bring together specialists from across HMRC to find people who are not paying what they should. If you have paid all your taxes you have nothing to worry about. But for those deliberately evading tax, be warned that HMRC is coming after you.

“This is not an empty threat – HMRC can and will track you down if you choose to break the rules. We are on target to collect more than £50 million as a result of taskforces launched in 2011/12.”

HMRC has launched 30 taskforces since May 2011. The Taskforces are part of the Government’s £917 million spending review investment to tackle tax evasion, avoidance and fraud from 2011/12, which aims to raise an additional £7 billion each year by 2014/15.