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HMRC Task Forces on the march

HMRC announced back last year that they would be creating 12 Task Forces which would be geographically specific and carry out intensive bursts of compliance activity into high risk trade sectors.

Wolfattack

A further 6 task forces have just recently been announced following the success of an attack on restaurants in London, Scotland and the North West of England. Over 530 businesses were investigated and unpaid tax of almost £700k identified in just 10% of the total and 22 business owners now face prosecution and potentially a prison sentence. 2 restaurant owners were detained in Edinburgh and subjected to interview as part of the Scottish element of the investigations.

The 6 new task forces announced are:

  • Scrap Metal Dealers in Scotland
  • Landlords & Construction Traders in the North West and in North Wales
  • Taxpayers who fail to submit their tax returns on time in the South East of England
  • Fast Food outlets in Scotland
  • Commercial companies who have failed to comply with the "Option to Tax" (related to VAT and property).

 

It would be easy to assume that if your sector is being targeted elsewhere in the UK but not in your area that you are safe. You could not be farther from the truth. Task Forces identify the problem, its potential for collecting more tax and gain knowledge and experience of the sector, thus making it easier for an even more targeted trip to other geographical areas of the country.

Oh and they are checking for illegal workers at the same time so often the UK Border Agency and the police accompany HMRC on these visits. The penalty for employing an illegal worker is £10000 per employee and criminal prosecution as well.

At NGM we have the skills and experience to help you with all of this - in the first place if you contact us early enough we can get you protected from fees using our Tax investigation Service and we have the right contacts if things get serious and you end up receiving a Human Rights warning.

Don't want to worry you though - have a happy January!

 

JohnF

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Casper on July 21, 2012

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