David Gauke, the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said:
We are determined to support hardworking people who want to get on in this industry and every other. However, the people being targeted by this taskforce have no intention of playing by the rules. The Government has made it clear that we will not tolerate tax evasion and we have provided HMRC with the resources to crack down on those who break the rules.
HMRC has collected more than £80 million as a result of taskforces launched since 2011-12. It expects to bring in over £90 million per year from taskforces launched over the next three years.
HMRC’s Jennie Granger, Director General Enforcement and Compliance, said:
Our message is clear - if you seek to evade tax or defraud the tax system, HMRC can and will track you down. You will face not only a heavy fine, but possibly a criminal prosecution as well.
The taskforce will recover £5.5 million.
Taskforces tackling tax evasion in restaurants in Yorkshire and Humber, road hauliers in the Midlands and the fishing industry in Scotland were also launched today.
Taskforces are specialist teams that undertake intensive bursts of activity in specific high-risk trade sectors and locations in the UK. The teams visit traders to examine their records and carry out other investigations.
If you suspect someone is evading their taxes, you can tell HMRC via the Tax Evasion Hotline by phone, on 0800 788 887, or report fraud to HMRC online