New taskforce launched to tackle tax dodgers in the South East

A new taskforce to tackle the non-filing of tax returns across the South East was announced today by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

HMRC has identified that there is an increasing problem with some taxpayers not submitting their statutory returns across Corporation Tax, Income Tax, Self Assessment, PAYE and VAT.

Taskforces are specialist teams that undertake intensive bursts of compliance activity in specific high risk trade sectors and locations across the UK.

The taskforce comes as a result of the Government’s £900m spending review re-investment to tackle tax evasion, avoidance and fraud from 2011/12, which aims to raise an additional £7 billion each year by 2014/15. It is the latest element of the programme of taskforces launched in May 2011, which initially concentrated on the restaurant sector in London, North West England and Scotland.

Darren Boston, SME Business Unit Head for HMRC in South East England, said:

“The taskforce will come down hard and fast on those who have chosen to break the rules and deliberately evade the taxes they should be paying but not submitting their returns. Whilst business activities may have ceased in some cases, or there may in fact be no tax liability, HMRC will target those who are fully aware how much money they are due to pay but have made the conscious decision not to submit the necessary declarations. Honest businesses have absolutely nothing to worry about.

“HMRC is clear – if you deliberately seek to evade tax we can and will track you down and you’ll face not only a heavy fine, but possibly a criminal prosecution as well.”