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HMRC sets sights on security sector to root out tax cheats

Sound the alarm: security sector contractors may have some explaining to do soon, as Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs prepares to peer into the entire industry.

HMRC, in its infinite wisdom and its unfailing dedication to the stamping out of as much tax evasion and tax avoidance as possible, is turning its gaze towards security sector workers, especially those located in the South East or in the capital. Treasury officials say that the new spate of investigations could bring as much as £10 million in unpaid taxes into the taxman’s coffers, most likely from fraudulent VAT repayment claims.

This is nothing new for HMRC, as it’s already gathered more than £90 million from 2011, when tax investigation taskforces were initially launched to look into as many sectors as possible. Of course the cost of these investigations is never mentioned, so there’s no knowing how much net revenue the tax authority is actually raking in; with this Government’s proclivities in cutting costs in the wrong places it wouldn’t surprise me if the administrative costs of these tax collection endeavours end up taking a rather large bite out of that £90 million.

The sad thing about this is going after contractors and small business owners may actually be the most cost-effective way of stamping out tax evasion. Yes it’s true that even the most ambitious contractor couldn’t even come close to the types of tax avoidance a large multinational can get up to – that £90 million looks like pocket change in comparison to the amount of money big businesses such as Starbucks, Amazon, or Google owes the taxman – however, the likelihood of seeing even a penny of that money from these multinationals is absolutely nil, thanks to corporate lobbyists buying the influence of MPs and ministers alike.

So what’s a cash-strapped Government to do? Naturally it goes after those that it can easily brutalise, like sole traders. Heavens forbid HMRC went after a company that registers its tax evasion in the billions of pounds – no, instead let’s bleed small business owners dry. It’s not like they’re actually contributing to the economic recovery efforts here at home, eh lads?

Cor blimey, I swear I just want to slap the sense in to people in power sometimes. That’s it, I’m running for MP – things are going to change. First step is to get HMRC’s house in order so it leaves alone hard-working contractors!


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