Taskforces pave way for tax investigations

People in the Midlands with what HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) describes as “hidden wealth” could become the subject of tax investigations following the launch of a new wave of tax evasion taskforces.

The initiatives, announced on 19 September, will also target specific business sectors and other locations across the UK, with HMRC inspectors paying visits to examine their records and carry out other investigations.

The Midlands initiative will be looking into hidden wealth, including people with offshore accounts and those living lifestyles are beyond their obvious means through assets from undeclared income.

That taskforce is expected to bring in £3 million as is another Midlands initiative, focusing on the hidden economy in the second-hand motor trade in the Midlands.

Other taskforces will target the construction industry in London security guards, bouncers and their employers in London and the South East.

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

“If you have declared all your income, you have nothing to worry about. But, if you haven’t, we will find you, investigate you and not only could you face a heavy fine, but a criminal prosecution as well.”

HMRC expects to bring in more than £90 million per year from taskforces launched over the next three years as part of a continuing government drive to close the tax gap – the amount of tax that should be collected compared with the amount actually brought in.

As a result, there is an increased likelihood of tax investigations. In the event of a tax investigation, working with the experts at Taxation-Investigation can help to clarify the taxpayer’s position, argue their case with HMRC, identify their options and help to mitigate the outcome where there are issues to be resolved.