HMRC detains two Scottish restaurateurs

HMRC has detained two Edinburgh restaurateurs on suspicion of tax evasion as part of its taskforce operation targeting Scottish restaurants. 

HMRC visited four business and domestic premises in the Scottish capital this week before detaining the two men. Although they were both interviewed and released, the department has said the investigations are 'ongoing'. 
 
Mike Wells, HMRC director of risk and intelligence, said: “These raids and detention of people suspected of not declaring income from the work they do - are part of co-ordinated activity targeting the restaurant trade in Scotland.
 
“These taskforces will come down hard on restaurants that have deliberately chosen to break the rules and evade the taxes they should be paying. Honest businesses have absolutely nothing to worry about, however, if you deliberately seek to evade tax, HMRC can and will track you down. You will then face not only a heavy fine, but possibly a criminal prosecution as well,” he said.
 
HMRC launched a taskforce operation on the restaurant sector in May 2011, targeting London, Scotland and the North West. The department carried out investigations into 531 restaurants in November and identified £634,000 in potential unpaid tax. 

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Comments

Arrested for Avoidance

bobhurn | | Permalink

Do they not mean evasion?

Natalie Brandweiner's picture

Tax evasion

Natalie Brandweiner | | Permalink

Thanks for spotting, Bobhurn. The article is now fixed. 

intelligence led ?

The Black Knight | | Permalink

£1,193 average collection does not sound very intelligence led especially if 2 are large enough for prosecution ?

I hope HMRC can learn some lessons from their sample approach so they can use their resources more effectively.....for all our sakes..

Tax Expansion?

samuelspaniel | | Permalink

In the same way that HMRC dislikes tax evasion by a taxpayer would it not also be the case that a taxpayer has every right to dislike a deliberate attempt by HMRC to expand the tax due - as a recent example, an Inspector managed to increase the tax due by nearly 4 times (ie to over £40,000), raised an assessment and then asked HMRC's debt management to collect it despite being fully aware that the taxpayer did not owe this sum!!!   If HMRC want the taxpayer to be honest with them, why does that mean HMRC has no reciprocal obligation to a taxpayer.  So, where exactly does fraud start and where does it end or does it depend on which side of the street you live?

AND

spurs1952 | | Permalink

with great stealth  five 10 man teams working constantly round the clock over a year eating and drinking themselves silly, and liaising with Interpol at weekly conferences in Barbados to check that this was no ongoing international fraud, finally managed to find that the cash taken for 2 haddock and chips did not go through the books.  

Sparking a new government incentive

The Black Knight | | Permalink

to eat Black Bream instead !

Found out

samuelspaniel | | Permalink

It was the side order of garden peas that gave the game away!

 

Moral?

 

Don't eat peas!

immoral

The Black Knight | | Permalink

samuelspaniel wrote:

Moral?

Don't eat peas!

Don't tell me that's immoral too !!