New HMRC Taskforces Tacking Tax Dodgers Launched Today

HMRC Aiming To Tackle Increased Risk Of Fraudulent Activity


Karen Roberts, Press Officer | 0207 400 8714

A taskforce tackling tax dodgers who hide their wealth was launched today by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), targeting individuals and businesses in London and East Anglia. A similar taskforce is also being launched in South Wales.

The taskforce has been set up as a result of HMRC seeing an increased risk of fraudulent activity in hidden wealth and aims to tackle people with offshore accounts and those living lifestyles beyond their obvious means through assets from undeclared income. It is expected to recover £2.4 million in London and East Anglia alone.

The specialist taskforce teams will visit traders in high-risk sectors and locations, where HMRC believes there is a high risk of evasion, to examine their records and carry out other investigations. These include the restaurant sector in London and East Anglia and the construction industry in the Midlands.

David Gauke Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said:

"The people being targeted by this taskforce have no intention of playing by the rules. This Government has made it clear that we will not tolerate tax evasion and we have provided  HMRC with the resources to crack down on those who break the law."

HMRC has collected more than £130 million as a result of the 70 taskforces launched since 2011-12. It expects to bring in over £90 million from the further 30 taskforces planned for 2014-15.

HMRC has warned that those who do not declare all their income could not only face a heavy fine, but a criminal prosecution as well.

Comment by Phil  Berwick, Tax and Investigations Partner* at Irwin Mitchell: