Taxman announces 30 new Taskforces to tackle tax evasion

HMRC have said that they will create 30 new taskforces “to crack down on tax dodgers” in  2012/13.  The HMRC taskforces will target specific business sectors in specific locations where the taxman feels there is a particularly high risk of tax evasion. The likely targets include: the rag trade, the motor trade, and costermongers (market stallholders).

HM Revenue & Customs expect to collect over £50m as a result of 12 taskforces launched in 2011/12.  The taskforces have also so far generated 13 criminal investigations.  The taxman feels very confident about the success of the risk analysis and intelligence gathering stating: “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.  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.”

HMRC Local Compliance activity through taskforces targets the highest-risk cases in that sector and location, typically focusing on groups of up to around 600 customers in specific locations.   Not all of these are business tax investigations.  Some will focus on areas like buy to let, and undeclared property sales.

The taxman has published the following results of the taskforces so far. Showing the yield of extra tax, interest and penalties it expects to collect.

  • London restaurants, launched May 2011; Expected yield: £5m;
  • North West restaurants, launched May 2011; Expected yield: £4.5m; 3 restaurants under Criminal Investigation;
  • Scotland restaurants, Expected yield: £4m; 4 restaurants under Criminal Investigation;
  • London fast food franchises, Total yield to date: £10m Further £8m expected; 100 per cent hit rate – with the average about £190k per business;
  • London fraudulent repayments; Expected yield: £4.5m;  3 cases under Criminal Investigations;
  • North West landlords,; 3 cases under Criminal Investigations;
  • North West construction;  Yield expected: £3m;
  • Scotland scrap metal; Yield expected: £3m;
  • Scotland hot food takeaway; Yield expected £6m; Indicators show evasion by 75 per cent in the selected population.
  • London – property transactions,    Yield expectation £7m;
  • South East Overdue Returns; Yield expectation £2.5m.

How can Lynam Tax Investigation Experts help me?
Lynam Tax partners have a vast amount of practical experience in managing tax investigations and tax enquiries.    We can advise you on the best course of action and if appropriate, help you manage any necessary disclosures, in order to obtain the optimum outcome for you, your business and your family.

For a free, private, no obligation consultation, call Paul or Gemma Lynam today on 0845 643 9997