Scottish metal dealers next in HMRC firing line

THE TAXMAN has set up its second taskforce initiative to target scrap metal dealers who have failed to pay the right amount of tax.

The taskforce, one of five announced today, will pursue dealers in Scotland. The first taskforce scheme targeted restaurants in London, the North West and Scotland and has begun investigations into 531 businesses since its inception in May.

The other taskforces will look into: self-employed construction traders who suppress sales or over claim in the North West and North Wales; South East taxpayers not submitting their statutory returns for corporation tax, self assessment, PAYE and VAT; Scottish fast food outlets that are falsifying records; and landlords in the North West and North Wales.

David Gauke, the Exchequer secretary, said: “We will not tolerate those who break the rules. This taskforce will come down hard on scrap metal dealers and their customers or suppliers who have chosen to break the rules or deliberately evade the tax they should be paying. This is just the start.

“It doesn’t matter who you are – HMRC can and will track you down. You will face a heavy fine, a possible criminal prosecution and ultimately jail.”

HM Revenue & Customs plans to establish 12 taskforces in 2011/12.

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