HM Revenue and Customs
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Crackdown launched on tax dodgers

Crackdown launched on tax dodgers

Over £30m will be recovered from tax dodgers as HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) launches new taskforces around the country.

The taskforces will target traders who do not pay the right amount of tax in:

Scottish pubs and nightclubsHair and beauty businesses in Northern IrelandThe motor trade in South Wales, South West, Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and the North EastResturants in South Wales and South West

Taskforces are specialist teams that undertake intensive bursts of activity in specific high risk trade sectors and locations in the UK. The teams will visit traders to examine their records and carry out other investigations.

The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, said:

“At a time when we are trying to rebalance the public finances and most hard-working people are making a contribution by paying the right tax, it is just not fair that a small minority try to dodge their responsibilities.

“These new taskforces are funded by the Government’s investment in HMRC of over £900m to crack down on avoidance and evasion. Their dedicated teams are on track to collect more than £50m from tax avoiders and evaders through the taskforces launched last year and expect to collect £30m in unpaid taxes through those launched today.”

HMRC’s Mike Eland, Director General Enforcement and Compliance, said:

“Everyone needs to pay the taxes they owe in full – these new taskforces will help us crack down on the minority who have chosen to break the rules. If you have paid all your taxes you have nothing to worry about. But deliberately evading tax you should be paying can land you with not only a heavy fine but possibly a criminal prosecution as well.

“This is not an empty threat - HMRC can and will track you down if you choose to break the rules.”

HMRC launched 12 taskforces in 2011/12. Thirty will follow in 2012/13. HMRC is on target to collect more than £50m as a result of the taskforces launched in 2011/12.

If you are aware of someone who is evading their taxes you can tell HMRC via the Tax Evasion Hotline by phone, on 0800 788 887, email or by post. Full details can be found at

Notes for editors 1. Taskforces bring together various HMRC compliance and enforcement teams for intensive bursts of activity targeted at specific sectors and locations where there is evidence of high risk of tax evasion. The first taskforce targeted the restaurant trade from 12 May 2011.

2. The taskforces are part of HMRC’s broader work to tackle evasion and avoidance which includes campaigns, Managing Deliberate Defaulters and offshore penalties. They are a result of the Government’s £917m spending review investment to tackle tax evasion, avoidance and fraud from 2011/12, which aims to raise an additional £7bn each year by 2014/15.

3. Compliance activity through taskforces is 1:1 and targets the highest-risk cases in a particular sector and location, typically focusing on groups of up to around 300 customers.

4. 12 taskforces were launched in 2011/12 looking at restaurants (London, North West, Scotland) fast food outlets (London, Scotland), scrap metal dealers (Scotland), fraudulent repayments (London), landlords (North West, Scotland), construction (North West), property transactions (London) and overdue returns (South East).

5. Further taskforces were launched in May 2012 looking at indoor and outdoor markets in London, taxi firms in Yorkshire and East Midlands, property rentals in East Anglia, London, Yorkshire and the North East and restaurants in the Midlands.

6. Follow HMRC on Twitter @HMRCgovuk


Issued by HM Revenue & Customs Press Office Press enquiries only please contact:


HM Revenue & Customs

Andrew Bennett
Phone: 020 7147 0051

Sara Pont
Phone: 020 7147 0394

HMRC Out of Hours
Phone: 07860 359544

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