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HMRC taskforce puts tax evaders in spotlight 13 May 2013

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has launched a taskforce in a bid to crackdown on tax dodgers in London.

It has been tasked with identifying individuals who fraudulently claim value added tax (VAT) repayments they are not entitled to.

The taskforce is expected to recover more than £7.5m and prevent future fraudulent repayments being claimed.

According to HMRC, its taskforces have brought in over £70m since they were launched in 2011-12 and it is expected to collect in excess of £90m from taskforces this year.

David Gauke, the exchequer secretary to the Treasury, said: “This taskforce is targeting people who are not playing by the rules. Most people pay what they should.

“The government has made it clear that we will not tolerate tax evasion and HMRC will crack down on those who seek to break the rules.”

Taskforces are specialist teams which carry out “intensive bursts of activity” in trade sectors and locations in the UK deemed high risk.

The teams may visit traders to examine their records and conduct other investigations.

Jennie Granger, director general enforcement and compliance at HMRC, added: “The message is clear – if you choose to defraud the tax system or seek to evade tax, we can and will track you down. You will face not only a heavy fine, but possibly a criminal prosecution as well.”

Last year, HMRC collected £20.6 billion of additional revenues from tackling avoidance, evasion and criminal attack.



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