Posted by Nick Day on 19 Sep 2012

New Tax Evasion Crackdown

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has launched a new crackdown with task forces set to focus on five areas of business seen by HMRC as high risk in terms of tax evasion.

These new task forces are the latest part of an on-going campaign by HMRC to ensure correct tax compliance in certain targeted sectors and is expected to raise taxes in excess of £19 million.

The areas of focus for HMRC are:

  • The legal profession in London.
  • Grocery and retail outlets in South and North Wales, the North West and the South West.
  • Hair and beauty businesses in the North East.
  • Restaurant businesses in the South East and Solent area.
  • Motor trade businesses in Scotland

Task forces are specialist teams that undertake intensive bursts of activity in what are deemed by HMRC to be specific high-risk trade sectors and locations in the UK. The teams will make visits to businesses, examining records and carrying out other enquiries.

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.”

HMRC’s Mike Eland, Director General Enforcement and Compliance, said:

“These task forces 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 task forces launched in 2011/12.”

HMRC has launched 30 such task forces since May 2011.

We would encourage all businesses to keep up to date with their accounts and tax return compliance.  Tax Innovations are ideally placed to assist you in bringing your affairs fully up to date from accounts and tax return perspective, to ensure you are fully compliant but claim all the tax reliefs you are legally entitled to minimise the taxes you pay.

If you would like any advice regarding the above article or would simply like to discuss other ways in which we could help you or your business, please contact us on 01962 856 990 or


See also…

New Criminal Offence for Offshore Tax Evasion

Offshore Tax Evasion: An HMRC Briefing

Tax Avoidance versus Tax Evasion

Clampdown on Tax Evasion for Expats in Spain

HMRC Free to Access Taxpayer Bank Accounts

Tax Avoidance Schemes: Too Good To Be True?

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