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Are Scottish scrap metal dealers guilty of tax evasion?

Are Scottish scrap metal dealers guilty of tax evasion?

Accountants for contractors may be interested to learn that HMRC has launched a new taskforce to tackle tax evasion in the scrap metal industry.

The taskforce will target scrap metal dealers north of the border. The Revenue believes that this is an industry where the risk of tax evasion is high.

Last week, HMRC announced that it had set up five new tax evasion taskforces. In addition to targeting Scottish scrap metal dealers, self-employed construction traders in North Wales and the North West of England will come under the spotlight.

Another taskforce will investigate taxpayers in the South East who fail to submit Corporation Tax, VAT, PAYE and self-assessment returns. A further taskforce will investigate Scottish fast food outlets suspected of falsifying records.

Finally, landlords in North Wales and the North West, who have at least three properties and are suspected of evading taxes, could find a taskforce inspector knocking at their door.

The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, said the government does not tolerate lawbreakers. HMRC can and will track down tax evaders, no matter who they are. They will receive heavy fines and criminal prosecution could be a possibility.

In last year’s spending review, the government allocated £917 million to combat tax crime. It hopes this funding will raise an additional £7 billion per year by 2014-15.

HMRC intends to have 12 taskforces in place by the end of this financial year and says more will follow in 2012-13.

The Revenue has also set up a Tax Evasion Hotline where members of the public can phone and report anyone suspected of tax evasion.

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Image: Scrap metal T-rex created by Bundaberg artist John Olsen by roskomcqueen

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