Tax on the menu: 531 new restaurant investigations

HM Revenue & Customs’ new special trades  “task force” –  set up to tackle tax fraud in the  restaurant and take-away trades – has started   531 tax investigations, since its creation in May this year: according to a report by Jamie Kaffash in Accountancy Age today.

The restaurant task force is the first of the special “smash and grab” trade-specific teams planned by the taxman.  The task-forces mode of operation is:  “intensive bursts of compliance activity in specific high-risk trade sectors and locations across the UK”.

HMRC are reported as claiming that for the first 45 cases where figures have been settled, the total tax “under consideration” was £634,000; an average of £14,000 per business.  The regions so far targeted are: Scotland 222 tax investigations, London 159 and the North West with 150 Compliance Checks.  Of these, it’s said that so far 22 businesses are now being considered for either Criminal Prosecution or the Code of Practice 9 Civil Investigation of Fraud process.

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