New sectors targeted by tax taskforces

A new wave of business people could become the focus of tax investigations as a result of fresh crackdowns by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

The holiday industry in East Anglia and Northern Ireland’s restaurant trade are being targeted by new HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) taskforces.

Launched on 13 May, the taskforces are seeking to recover £2.5 million in East Anglia and £2.9 million in Northern Ireland. Another taskforce is targeting people in London claiming VAT repayments with a target of recovering more than £7.5 million.

Taskforces are specialist teams that carry out intensive bursts of activity in specific trade sectors and locations in the UK. The teams may visit traders to examine their records and carry out other investigations, which could lead to formal tax investigations.

Meanwhile, people who are registered for VAT but have not sent in all of their VAT returns have been told they will now come under close HMRC scrutiny which could result in tax investigations.

HMRC has warned that people who failed to complete and submit outstanding returns by 28 February 2013 that their tax affairs will now receive “closer attention”.

With the government and HMRC intent on closing the UK tax gap – the difference between tax owed and tax collected – the range, scope and frequency off tax taskforces, campaigns and tax investigations are likely to continue to grow.

In the event of a tax investigation, working with the experts at Taxation-Investigation can help to clarify the taxpayer’s position and identify their options.

We’ll provide constructive advice and support, enabling taxpayers to focus on their day-to-day affairs while we liaise with HMRC inspectors to bring the investigation to a satisfactory conclusion. Where tax affairs are in order, we will argue the case robustly and we will also negotiate any settlement necessary with a view to minimising HMRC claims for any tax and penalties.