On 25 May 2012, HMRC announced the launch of six new taskforces, their primary aim being to target those businesses which do not pay the right amount of tax. The taskforces have been created to target the following sectors.
- Indoor and outdoor markets in London
- Property rentals in London, East Anglia, Yorkshire and the North East
- Taxi Firms in Yorkshire and East Midlands
- Restaurants in the Midlands.
HMRC are expecting to recover in excess of £23 million from the introduction of these specialist teams.
The announcement of these new taskforces supplements the 12 which were launched in 2011/12 which targeted restaurants (London, North West, Scotland), fast food outlets (London, Scotland), scrap metal dealers (Scotland), fraudulent repayments (London), landlords (North West, Scotland), construction (North West), property transactions (London) and overdue returns (South East). From the introduction of these taskforces HMRC have reported that they are on target to collect in excess of £50million.
These taskforce projects are part of HMRC’s continuing campaign to tackle evasion and avoidance. They bring together both compliance and enforcement teams to target particular trader sectors in specific locations in which it perceives there is a high risk of tax evasion. Taskforces are reported to focus on groups of up to around 300 traders on a 1:1 basis.
Advisors in the areas targeted by the taskforces may wish to inform clients who trade in the sectors covered by this announcement of the increased risk of enquiry.