SIX TASKFORCES have been assembled by HM Revenue & Customs in an attempt to recover as much as £23m from tax dodgers.
The teams will specifically target market stall-holders in London, taxi firms in Yorkshire and the East Midlands, restaurants across the Midlands and property rental businesses in East Anglia, the Northeast, Yorkshire and London.
Traders will be visited by the teams, which will then examine their records and carry out other investigations in short, sharp bursts of activity.
HMRC’s Mike Eland, director-general of enforcement and compliance, sounded a stern warning to people engaged in tax evasion.
He said: “This is not an empty threat. HMRC can and will track you down if you choose to break the rules.
“If you have paid all your taxes, you have nothing to worry about. But deliberately evading tax you should be paying can land you with not only a heavy fine, but possibly a criminal prosecution as well.”
Exchequer secretary, David Gauke, added: “HMRC is on target to collect more than £50m as a result of the taskforces launched in 2011/12. We have made it clear that we will not tolerate tax evasion. Everyone needs to pay the taxes they owe in full. We are determined to crack down on the minority who choose to break the rules.”
At HMRC, Dmitri Surendran was responsible for leading the London team of the offshore, corporate and wealthy unit of the fraud investigation service
Research also finds that 84% of businesses believe that the government has not provided enough information about digital tax plans
A total of £16bn was lost through tax fraud last year, according to estimates released by Pinsent Masons
Additional tax a result of compliance investigations by HMRC, but overall revenue falls