Pubs and hairdressers targed in new tax investigations

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has said that it expects to recover more than £30 million following the launch of new taskforces across the UK to carry out tax investigations in certain business sectors and areas.

The HMRC taskforces are specialist teams that undertake intensive bursts of tax investigation activity in specific high risk trade sectors and locations in the UK. The new taskforces will visit traders to examine their business records and carry out other tax-related investigations. Their investigations will focus on:

  • Scottish pubs and nightclubs
  • hair and beauty businesses in Northern Ireland
  • the motor trade in South Wales and in Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire and the North East and South West of England
  • restaurants in South Wales and the South West of England.

Businesses in these sectors and areas may wish to seek the advice of experienced tax investigation specialists, like the team at Taxation-Investigation, which is part of Salhan Accountants in Birmingham.

If you are being tax investigated by HMRC, consulting a reputable adviser who specialises in this field is highly recommended. The process of a tax investigation can be confusing and intimidating but tax investigations experts, like Taxation-Investigation, can clarify what is involved in the tax investigation, explain tax investigation jargon, identify what the likely outcomes might be and work with HMRC on your behalf.

The Taxation-Investigation team has extensive practical experience in managing HMRC tax investigations and tax enquiries and can advise on the best course of action. If appropriate, the team can manage any necessary disclosures, in order to achieve the best possible outcome for clients.

Announcing the new taskforces and their tax investigation programme in July, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, said: “These new taskforces are funded by the Government’s investment in HMRC of over £900 million to crack down on avoidance and evasion.

“Their dedicated teams are on track to collect more than £50 million from tax avoiders and evaders through the taskforces launched last year and expect to collect £30 million in unpaid taxes through [the new taskforces].”

Mike Eland, HMRC 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 the 2011-12 financial year and 30 more are due to follow in 2012-13. HMRC is on target to collect more than £50 million as a result of the taskforces and their tax investigations that were launched in 2011/12.