As part of the stated intention of the government to crack down on tax evasion and fraud, HMRC have launched over 40 taskforces since 2010 with the objective of scrutinising the tax affairs of specific industry sectors.
This summer, road hauliers in the Midlands were the latest targets for a HRMC taskforce, newly created to crack down on tax evasion with the intention of recovering £3.5 million. The taskforce is part of a HMRC policy to target specific sectors and locations where a high risk of tax evasion and fraud is suspected.
David Gauke, the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said: “We are determined to support hardworking people who want to get on in this industry and every other. However, the people being targeted by this taskforce have no intention of playing by the rules”.
Since 2011-12 more than £80 million has been collected by HMRC taskforces and it is anticipated that, over the next three years, another £90 million per year will be collected.
HMRC’s Jennie Granger, Director General of Enforcement and Compliance, said: “Our message is clear - if you seek to evade tax or defraud the tax system, HMRC can and will track you down. You will face not only a heavy fine but possibly a criminal prosecution as well.” Road hauliers in the Midlands would do well to take note.
Other sectors targeted by taskforces include the holiday industry in the Lake District, North Wales, Devon and Cornwall, restaurants in Yorkshire and Humber, and the fishing industry in Scotland.