Restaurateurs, hauliers and fishermen are amongst those who are the focus of a new raft of tax evasion taskforces announced by HMRC on 10 July 2013. Specifically, the industries under the spotlight are:
- The Scottish fishing industry
- The holiday industry in Blackpool, Lake District, North Wales, Devon and Cornwall
- Restaurants in the North East and Lincolnshire; and
- The haulage industry in the Midlands
HMRC expect to recover in excess of £16m as a result of these taskforces.
Taskforces are specialist teams that undertake intensive bursts of activity in specific trade sectors and locations in the UK considered to be high risk. Taxpayers who fall within the scope of the taskforce may receive a phone call or a visit from HMRC to examine their records and carry out other investigations.
In the event of telephone call or a letter from HMRC announcing a visit, it is important to understand your rights and obligations when responding. HMRC may ask for information relating to the business during the initial telephone call and while there is no obligation to provide this in the first instance, it should be considered whether a degree of co-operation is appropriate. HMRC now also have powers to enter business premises although there are tight restrictions on the documents and other items that they have the power to inspect.
Gabelle is able to offer practical and strategic advice on how to respond to requests for information from HMRC and how to protect yourself or your clients. For further information please contact TaxDesk on 0845 4900509 and ask for John Hood or Isobel Clift.