Tax avoiders to be targeted by new HMRC taskforces

Hillier Hopkins LLP

Chartered Accountants & Tax Advisers

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HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has launched a number of new taskforces targeted at potential tax avoiders.

Three taskforces have been launched focusing on individuals in the South and South East with offshore accounts, the road transport industry in the South and South East, and on fraudulent VAT repayment claims in the North East (and also South Wales and South West England).

The taskforce investigating those in the South and South East with offshore accounts, will be looking at those apparently living beyond their obvious means through assets deriving from undeclared income. HMRC hopes the campaign will raise in the region of £2.8 million for the Exchequer.

Road transport firms in South Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Dorset, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Wiltshire will be targeted by specialist teams who will visit traders and examine their records and carry out other investigations, looking for undeclared income and sales or use of illegal fuel.

The VAT crackdown will focus in particular on businesses being set up purely for the purpose of making false VAT repayment claims. The VAT repayment taskforce – targeted at individuals and businesses – is set to bring in £6 million in the North East and Lincolnshire alone.

Individuals and business need be wary that HMRC is cracking down on potential tax avoiders, using various means of identifying inconsistencies.

If you have not declared income to HMRC the tax authority is likely to open investigations. Not only might you face a heavy fine, but HMRC may open a criminal prosecution against you.

Individuals who believe they may be targeted in this crackdown should seek help as soon as possible.  An experienced tax adviser will be able to discuss how best to ensure their tax liabilities are brought up-to-date.”

For more information, please contact Debbie Wilson