08:34 Friday 14 February 2014

Taskforce set to try and firms that dodge tax

Written byROB SMYTH

A TASKFORCE tackling tax dodgers in the construction industry in East Staffordshire and South Derbyshire has been launched by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

The specialist team will undertake intensive bursts of activity in specific high-risk trade sectors and locations across the area, as well as visiting traders to examine their records and carry out other investigations.

HMRC has seen an increased risk of fraudulent activity in the construction industry in the area and the taskforce is expected to recover millions of pounds.

Jennie Granger, director general of enforcement and compliance for HMRC, said: “Our taskforces are deployed in sectors and areas where we’ve detected a high risk of tax evasion.

“If you haven’t declared all your income we will find you and investigate. Not only could you face a heavy fine, but a criminal prosecution as well.”

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 taskforces launched since 2011-12. It expects to bring in more than £90 million from taskforces launched in 2014-15.

Anyone who knows of someone who is evading taxes can inform HMRC by calling the tax evasion hotline on 0800 788 887.

HMRC is currently running the third stage of an evasion publicity campaign, using advertising such as radio, train car panels and mirror stickers.

The campaign uses existing schemes such as data collection, taskforces and enforcement to raise awareness among those breaking the rules that HMRC is closing in on undeclared income.

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