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HMRC’s tough stance on tax evasion is paying dividends

HMRC’s tough stance on tax evasion is paying dividends

Dave Hartnett, HMRC’s permanent secretary for tax, recently confirmed that the taxman’s approach of targeting specific professions has raked in vast amounts of previously unpaid tax.

He said the Revenue has had great success by targeting people, including the clients of some online accountants, with offshore bank accounts and targeting sectors, like the medical profession, has been very fruitful.

The latest tax amnesty has been aimed at the plumbing sector. HMRC offered lower penalty rates to those willing to declare unpaid tax. The Revenue has also set up task forces to investigate London’s restaurant trade and these will soon be rolled out across the entire UK.

Contractor accountants with clients in the restaurant trade may want to encourage restaurant managers to get up to date with their record keeping. HMRC will expect to see till rolls, cheque stubs and records of sales and takings. The taxman is also likely to take an in-depth look into gratuities received by waiting staff. Tips are often undeclared but as the Revenue toughens its stance on cash payments, waiters could find themselves in the spotlight.

£917 million has been ring fenced to tackle tax avoidance, tax evasion and fraud this year and the Revenue hopes to claw back £7 billion every year within 4 years.

HMRC is also planning to launch an initiative to catch individuals and businesses who have not registered for VAT.

The scheme is due to start in the summer and the Revenue is already having discussions with interested parties. Mike Wells, the director of risk and intelligence at HMRC, said the department wants to gain as much insight as it can into the opinions of people and organisations so it can implement these into the campaigns it designs for its customers.

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Image: tell me, where is the love? by Tony the Misfit

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