Crackdown launched on Scottish tax dodgers

A taskforce to tackle tax dodgers in Scottish pubs and nightclubs has been launched by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

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.

HMRC will target pubs and nightclubs in Scotland where there is high risk that they are evading their tax responsibilities.

This includes individuals with links to criminality, individuals with links to tobacco and alcohol smuggling and those that have different tax performances from the norm.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, said: “This taskforce will bring in more than £5m.

“This taskforce is the 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.

“We are committed to tackling tax evasion and avoidance. HMRC’s taskforces are cracking down on people who choose to break the rules.

“It is completely unacceptable, at a time when we are trying to bring down the deficit, that a small minority try to get out of contributing their fair share.”

HMRC’s Mike Eland, Director General Enforcement and Compliance, said:

“Everyone needs to pay the taxes they owe in full – these new taskforces will help us crack down on the minority who have chosen to break the rules.

“If you have paid all your taxes you have nothing to worry about. But deliberately evading tax you should be paying can land you with not only a heavy fine, but possibly 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.”

If you are aware of someone who is evading their taxes you can tell HMRC via the Tax Evasion Hotline by phone, on 0800 788 887, email or by post. Full details can be found at www.hmrc.gov.uk