Two new campaigns are being launched by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) during the next year aimed at tax dodgers in construction and building work and those who buy and sell goods direct to others, or from the commission on sales.
HMRC will use new technology to search the internet for information about specified, targeted people and businesses.
Marian Wilson, of HMRC’s risk and intelligence, said: “Using new technology, we have been able to analyse returns to HMRC covering a range of taxes and to cross-reference these with other information to build a picture of where we believe we have taxpayers with missing returns.
“We will use the same technology to analyse information gathered to support the following two campaigns and for each campaign, after the opportunity has closed, we will use the information we have to pursue those who choose not to use the chances we provide to put their affairs in order.
“We are offering all the people targeted the opportunity to come forward. Penalties will be higher if we come and find people after the opportunity. A criminal investigation may also result. I therefore urge them to disclose unpaid tax voluntarily.”
Previous campaigns have targeted offshore investments, medical professionals, plumbers, VAT defaulters and private tutors. More than £500m has been raised by HMRC from voluntary disclosures and a further £105m from follow-up activity.
Information on campaigns for 2012, including how people can work with HMRC to influence their development, can be found at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/ris/hmrc-campaigns.htm