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New HMRC Taskforces Announced

by Amanda Banks,, London

12 July 2013

HM Revenue and Customs has launched its latest taskforces designed to tackle tax dodging, targeting the restaurant, haulage, and fishing industries in various parts of the country.

The new taskforces will focus on alleged tax evasion within the haulage industry in the Midlands, the fishing industry in Scotland, the holiday industry in Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Somerset, South Wales, Blackpool, the Lake District and North Wales, and restaurants in Lincolnshire and Tyneside.

The tax body states that it will recover GBP3.5m from the haulage industry, GBP5.5m from the holiday industry, and GBP3.8m from restaurants, and expects an extra GBP3.6m from the fishing industry.

In Scotland, HMRC will also work with Police Scotland, Immigration Enforcement, Border Force and the Gangmasters Licensing Authority to identify migrant labor abuse, including fraudulent access to benefits and public services or exploitation by employers.

HMRC says that it has collected more than GBP80m as a result of launching 43 taskforces since 2011, and it expects that new taskforces over the next three years will bring in a further GBP90m. They target specific sectors and locations where HMRC believes that there is evidence of high risk of tax evasion and fraud.

David Gauke, the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said that the Government is "determined to support hardworking people who want to get on" and that the taskforce would target those who "have no intention of playing by the rules."

Jennie Granger, who is Director General Enforcement and Compliance, was quoted as saying: "Our message is clear: if you seek to evade tax or defraud the tax system, HMRC can and will track you down. You will face not only a heavy fine, but possibly a criminal prosecution as well."

The UK Government aims to raise an extra GBP7bn each year by 2014-15 from measures against tax evasion, avoidance and fraud.

TAGS: compliance | tax | tax compliance | tax avoidance | United Kingdom | travel and tourism | food | HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) | HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) | services

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