A taskforce tackling tax dodgers in the restaurant industry in Bedfordshire has been launched today (Tuesday, February 11) by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
HMRC has seen an increased risk of fraudulent activity in the restaurant industry and the taskforce is expected to recover £3 million in a number of regions including Bedfordshire.
Taskforces are specialist teams that undertake intensive bursts of activity in specific high-risk trade sectors and locations in the UK.
The teams visit traders to examine their records and carry out other investigations.
David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said: “The people being targeted by these taskforces have no intention of playing by the rules. This Government has made it clear that we will not tolerate tax evasion and we have provided HMRC with the resources to crack down on those who break the law.”
HMRC has collected more than £130 million as a result of taskforces launched since 2011-12. It expects to bring in over £90 million from taskforces launched in 2014-15.
HMRC’s Jennie Granger, Director General of Enforcement and Compliance, said: “HMRC taskforces are deployed in sectors and areas where we’ve detected a high risk of tax evasion. If you haven’t declared all your income we will find you and investigate. Not only could you face a heavy fine, but a criminal prosecution as well.”
Other taskforces are being launched today and will target people with offshore accounts and those living lifestyles beyond their obvious means through assets from undeclared income, and this includes Bedfordshire.
HMRC is currently running the third stage of an evasion publicity campaign, using traditional and non-traditional advertising, including radio, train car panels, washroom posters and mirror stickers.
The campaign works alongside existing compliance activity such as data collection, taskforces and enforcement to raise awareness among those breaking the rules that HMRC is closing in on undeclared income.
If you know anyone who is evading their taxes, you can tell HMRC by calling the Tax Evasion Hotline on 0800 788 887.