PracticeConsultingGame, set and match to taxman.

Game, set and match to taxman.

Inland Revenue squads are keeping a close eye on Wimbledon this fortnight in a bid to net big corporate players, particularly drug firms, as well as small strawberry traders.

Millions of pounds worth of revenue is lost each year to the taxman from hospitality expenditure hidden in the ledger in marketing or training codes. The Revenue is known to be engaged in a 18-month crackdown on hospitality abuse by the pharmaceutical sector.

And earlier this year the Revenue indicated it would step up its campaign with the appearance in an in-house bulletin of a detailed tax guide to entertaining.

Experts say the taxman now routinely investigates companies listed as corporate entertainers in the programmes of big sporting events.

Last month Accountancy Age revealed that Revenue squads are gaining access to client’s sales invoices through bogus PAYE investigations. Alistair Kendrick, tax specialist at Ernst & Young, said: ‘The Inland Revenue is always interested in events like Wimbledon – this work is part of its bread and butter income.’

In the meantime, the All England Lawn Tennis Club hopes to better the £30m generated last year for the game’s development.

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