HMRC crackdown on tax-dodging Southerners

ReenaSewraz
by Lovemoney Staff ReenaSewraz on 12 February 2013  |  Comments 13 comments

Taxman's taskforce will target self-assessment tax cheats in London and the south east.

HMRC crackdown on tax-dodging Southerners

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is to crackdown on people abusing the self-assessment system to claim back money they’re not entitled to.

Up to 400 people will be targeted in London and the south east by a special taskforce which is expected to recover £6 million for the Treasury.

Those caught will face a hefty fine and possibly criminal prosecution.

The taskforce

Special HMRC taskforces have been created to target people who ‘are not playing by the rules’.

HMRC has launched 35 taskforces since last year with the first putting the spotlight on the restaurant trade.

The taskforces are expected to reclaim £90 million from this year’s tax cheat targets.

HMRC’s Jennie Granger, director general enforcement and compliance, said: "The message is clear - if you choose to defraud the tax system or seek to evade tax, we can and will track you down."

Other crackdowns launched

As well as targetting fradulent southerners HMRC has announced three other groups it will be looking at from today. 

There will be taskforces focussing on tax-dodging in Northern Ireland, the jewellery trade in the Midlands and fast food outlets in East Anglia .

In it together

The crackdown should help flush out those not willing to play fair.

Last year high profile figures such as Jimmy Carr and Gary Barlow were exposed as using a variety of schemes to limit their tax bill.

While big companies like Google, Amazon and Starbucks were investigated for not paying their dues like everyone else.

Self-assessment

Self-assessment can be difficult to get your head around, so don’t risk the taxman knocking down your door.

If you want to make sure you're filling out everything correctly read this useful article: How to get your online self-assessment tax return right.

More on tax:

Calls to HMRC cost us £136 million!

2012's biggest tax cheats named and shamed

Should tax evaders be named and shamed?

Are 'cash in hand' payments morally wrong?

Rent A Room scheme: tax-free cash from your spare room

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Comments (13)

  • oldhenry
    Love rating 343
    oldhenry said

    So , no task force to target 'travellers' yet? I wonder why. Also, what about the duty free fag sellers? All a bit too difficult perhaps . Much easy to persecute a few easy targets and make a big fuss whilst Vodafone walk off with millions.

    Report on 13 February 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • Aitken B
    Love rating 146
    Aitken B said

    I echo OLDHENRY's comments, particularly about easy targets but not about Vodafone or any other corporation that is taking perfectly legal actions to protect their owners' (the shareholders) cash. If they did not do that, the directors could be accused of maladministration and could be sued by the shareholders.

    I note that it is only up to 400 people.

    I thought there was 650 MPs (well - 649 at the moment).

    Report on 13 February 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • Henry-GBG
    Love rating 57
    Henry-GBG said

    The taxation of earned income is legalised robbery. We need to be clear about this. Those who argue for Flat Tax are only saying that they would like a little bit less robbery.

    The only taxation that can be justified is one levied on the annual rental value of land. That would not be robbery.

    Report on 13 February 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • r
    Love rating 98
    r said

    You could also argue that tax taken and spent on the NHS, social services and education, for example, are insurance policy payments ! In which case, they should be paid by everyone.

    I do not see the logic of calling a tax based on the annual rental of land being any different to the myriad forms of taxes demanded in this country.

    The fairest method must be for all of us to pay the same but . . . of course . . . this is not acceptable to the low tax payers.

    VAT seems to me to be one of the fairest taxes.

    Good point @oldhenry . . . why should the ....... "travellers" get away with paying nothing.

    r.

    Report on 13 February 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • Mike10613
    Love rating 626
    Mike10613 said

    Maybe they will use Barclay's client list now they have closed down their tax avoidance department?

    Report on 13 February 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • Meduza
    Love rating 8
    Meduza said

    one point gary barlow: he was knighted. anyone knows whether it was before or after his tax scandal? despite this, i still see it as a hypocracy... a knight should be a person of the right values, and clean and strong character not a cheater. i used to like gary for his voice, music, etc. but i am afraid that i do not anymore.

    Report on 13 February 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • RichardSowler
    Love rating 18
    RichardSowler said

    A pity this article confuses illegal evasion with legal avoidance. That is precisely the incorrect message that HMRC are trying to push. Starbucks etc were actually 'playing by the rules'. If HMRC (and the international tax-levying community) want to change the rules to collect more tax, then they can do so. In the meantime, breaching taxpayer confidentiality brings them all into disrepute.

    Report on 13 February 2013  |  Love thisLove  1 love
  • Ruthless Investor
    Love rating 39
    Ruthless Investor said

    Quote from above article:

    HMRC’s Jennie Granger, director general enforcement and compliance, said: "The message is clear - if you choose to defraud the tax system or seek to evade tax, we can and will track you down."

    Jannie Granger is talking rubbish. For the past many years I have known many who have been dodging tax system and HMRC had done nothing OR they were not able to do anything because the people or investigators do not have the knowledge of how people are doing. Its a very complex system.

    Report on 14 February 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • Henry-GBG
    Love rating 57
    Henry-GBG said

    @r-said

    "I do not see the logic of calling a tax based on the annual rental of land being any different to the myriad forms of taxes demanded in this country."

    1 It has no deadweight cost, ie lost production, estimated to be between 12% and 30% of GDP.

    2 It cannot be avoided or evaded.

    3 It is cheap to collect.

    4 It does not involve taxpayers in expensive compliance costs.

    5 It prevents land speculation, the major obstacle to Britain's economic recovery and principal cause of the boom-bust. Count the TO LET signs on the industrial estates.

    6 It does not penalise honest workers. All other taxes are nothing more than a punishment for legal honest work.

    Report on 16 February 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • jkd
    Love rating 0
    jkd said

    Why doesn't the HMRC target the tax-evading travelling community ???

    What I don't understand is that they all have an income through their various sources (not mentioning the circuses, the fun fairs, etc) and all drive their brand spanking new Range Rovers and live in large trailers/caravans (not cheap either) so why are they not taxed ???

    Yet they claim housing benefit, send children to local schools, free school meals, free uniforms etc., so they must have a resident's address to claim benefits.

    I don't understand why those travellers/gypsies who are well off are entitled to benefits at the same time.

    There has to be some tax/income/benefit correlation and relatively easily to trace.

    Report on 16 February 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • r
    Love rating 98
    r said

    @Henry-GBG:

    OK, thanks for the explanation. Surely, the shortcoming is that, if it is based on the "annual rental value of land", landowners will be taxed even if there is no income being produced by the land. Isn't this similar to our council rates - that is supposed to be linked to the rental value of your private property (or business property)?

    It may well reduce the amount of land held in "land banks" but I am not sure if it will provide enough income to replace our existing taxes, particularly with the demands of our prolifigate governments of recent years.

    A tax system based on spending seems fairer to me . It would allow a much greater cash flow into the economy and that should trigger the country into spending more. I know there are downsides to this idea but I think it could be better than a taxation system largely based on income.

    The ultimate option must be for our governments to spend less - to keep within their means. Surely, we should all be directing our efforts into achieving this objective.

    @jkd: hear hear!!

    r.

    Report on 17 February 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • Arblaster
    Love rating 43
    Arblaster said

    2 It [a tax on the annual rental of land] cannot be avoided or evaded.

    Oh yes it can.

    Why doesn't the HMRC target the tax-evading travelling community ???

    Ring up HMRC, wait on hold a lifetime and speak to one of their staff. You will then know why. They couldn't track a cockroach through a puddle of lager.

    Report on 18 February 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • PoohBah
    Love rating 23
    PoohBah said

    @jkd: You should not lump the circus and fairground people in with "travellers"; most have fixed bases (and thus addresses) where they live and keep their equipment in the off-season. Some might say that many "travellers" also have fixed bases, although these often seem to be expensive properties in Ireland, or illegal caravan sites, or both.

    Report on 18 February 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves

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