HMRC task force targets restaurant trade

A new task force set up by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to investigate tax dodgers will target the London restaurant trade, it was announced today.

The specialist team will look at compliance in “high-risk trade sectors and locations across the UK”, starting with the restaurant trade in London, Scotland and North Wales. This comes as part of the government’s aim to tackle tax evasion, avoidance and fraud from 2011/12 and raise an additional £7bn each year by 2014/15.

Mike Eland, director general enforcement and compliance, said: “These task forces are a new approach which uses HMRC’s resources to identify and tackle rule-breakers and evaders swiftly and effectively.

“Only those who choose to break the rules, or deliberately evade the tax they should be paying, will be targeted. Honest businesses have absolutely nothing to worry about.

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

HMRC is planning nine more task forces in 2011/12, with more to follow next year.