HMRC is to launch 30 new taskforces in 2012/13 which will specifically target market stall holders, car sales people, and rag traders – concerned with the import, wholesale, marketing and sale of clothing – as it continues its clampdown on those who attempt to dodge the tax man.
The revenue already expects to collect more than £50 million as a result of 12 taskforces launched last year and on-going criminal investigations. These 2011 taskforces, including the scrap metal taskforce launched in Scotland in November, will also be extended to different locations across the UK.
HMRC’s director of local compliance, Richard Summersgill, said that some of its clampdowns from last year, which included targeting restaurants and fast food franchises in London, Scotland and the North West, had hit rates of ‘100 per cent’, indicating that the tax man was targeting the ‘right’ high risk people.
In addition to continuing campaigns and offshore penalties, taskforces form part of the Government’s £917 million spending review investment to tackle tax evasion, avoidance and fraud, which aims to raise an additional £7 billion for the Treasury by 2015.
David Gauke, the exchequer secretary to the Treasury, said: “The Government is committed to tackling tax evasion and avoidance. HMRC’s taskforces are cracking down on people who choose to break the rules and creating a level playing field for the majority who play by them.
“It is completely unacceptable, at a time when we are trying to bring down the deficit that, while most hard-working people pay the right tax, there are others who try to get out of contributing their fair share. HMRC has received lots of useful information on its evasion hotlines, which shows that the honest majority are quite rightly fed up with the dishonest minority.”