Taskforces to lead tax crackdown

Tim Wallace
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TASKFORCES are being set up to target different types of tax evasion in different regions, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) revealed yesterday.

Businesses are the particular focus in London and the south east, with those failing to submit statutory returns for corporation tax, income self assessment, PAYE and VAT seen as core targets by the taskforce.

Five such taskforces have been set up to target problems as they affect each region. These include scrap metal dealers and fast food restaurants in Scotland and landlords in the north west and north Wales.

“Taskforces bring together a group of specialists in any one area, be in VAT, corporation tax or any other tax where there is a particularly large problem in collection,” HMRC’s Jonathan Hall told City A.M.

“The team might look for plumbers taking cash and failing to declare their full income, for example, by seeing if their statements add up with the level of activity they are doing.”

HMRC said its reaction to wrongdoing will be proportionate to offence, whether it is encouraging small companies who have accidentally fallen behind to hand in the relevant forms, or serial offenders who have not submitted tax forms for years.

“Powers HMRC has acquired in recent years mean you will be treated more leniently if you come forward voluntarily,” Dawn Register from accountancy firm BDO told City A.M.