A new taskforce to tackle tax evasion on property transactions and rented properties has been announced by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
The taskforce covering East Anglia, London, Leeds, York, Leicester, Nottingham, Lincoln, Durham and Sunderland is expected to recover more than £17m from tax dodgers.
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.
David Gauke, the Exchequer Secretary, said: “HMRC is on target to collect more than £50m as a result of the taskforces launched in 2011/12.
“We have made it clear that we will not tolerate tax evasion – everyone needs to pay the taxes they owe in full. We are determined to crack down on the minority who choose to break the rules. It is not fair, that at a time when most hard-working people are paying the right tax, others are trying to get out of paying what they should.”
HMRC’s Mike Eland, Director General Enforcement and Compliance/or local taskforce lead, said: “These new taskforces will bring together specialists from across HMRC to tackle tax dodgers. If you have paid all your taxes you have nothing to worry about. But
deliberately evading tax can land you a heavy fine or even 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.
Taskforces 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.