HMRC's latest campaign to target tax-dodging solicitors
HMRC's latest campaign is targetting a host of workers including the legal profession in London and the motor industry in Scotland.
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is clamping down on solicitors and barristers in London who are expected to owe around £3 million in tax payments.
This is all part of a new taskforce which has been launched by the taxman to recover more than £19.5 million from workers across the country.
Who is HMRC after?
Along with lawyers in London, the grocery and retail trade in South and North Wales and the South West of England, hair and beauty professionals in the North East, restaurant businesses in the South East and Solent and the motor trade in Scotland are all being investigated.
HMRC has identified them as "high-risk trade sectors and locations".
The traders on the HMRC list have been picked out because they’re either not paying their taxes at all or paying the wrong amount. The new taskforce will undertake "intensive bursts of activity" in these areas. Those on the list will be visited and their financial records examined.
Previous taskforce launches
These have looked into workers in a wide range of sectors including clothing, the motor industry, direct sellers, landlords and market traders as well as those in the restaurant and scrap metal sectors.
They were set up following the Government’s £917 million investment to try and tackle tax evasion, avoidance and fraud from 2011/12 and its aim is to raise £7 billion each year by 2014/15.
What happens if HMRC finds you?
Various campaigns are being launched across the internet and TV channels to alert people to the fact that HMRC is on a mission to find and expose tax dodgers.
Within the information released by HMRC is quite a lot of warnings. Mike Eland, director general for enforcement and compliance at HMRC, rather ominously says: "Those deliberately evading tax, be warned that HMRC is coming after you.
"This is not an empty threat - HMRC can and will track you down if you choose to break the rules."
In reality if HMRC does locate you and find you guilty of tax evasion you’re likely to face a significant fine and possibly a criminal investigation.
Do you agree with HMRC’s latest campaign and is it right to focus on individuals? Let me know in the comment box below.