New taskforces target pubs, motors and salons
HMRC this week announced four more taskforces, bringing the total number of active targeted compliance teams to around 20.
A high cash element is a common theme among many of the industries under scrutiny and Scotland continues to be fruitful territory for the tax department, with one of the new teams dedicated to investigating the highest risk tax evaders among Scottish pubs and nightclubs.
The regional focus appears to be expanding to include Northern Ireland, where hair and beauty businesses will be targeted, with an anticipated increase in tax revenue of £2.5m.
South Wales and the South West are being brought into the loop with the addition of teams looking into both restaurants and the motor trade. In addition to the western regions, the motor industry taskforce will scrutinise companies operating in Yorkshire, Notts and the North East. In total the motor industry taskforce is expected to recover more than £22m.
The restaurant taskforce targeting establishments in South Wales and the South West is expected to recover around £5m. A similar group set up in May to concentrate on the Midlands is anticipating a yield of £2.5m.
The four taxforces announced this week will recover more than £30m, HMRC claimed. The department said the yield from the 12 taskforces launched in 2011-12 is more than £50m, bringing the total projected return to £80m, but conclusive figures are proving difficult to pin down. The amount reported in official HMRC press releases is around around £20m-£25m, and more detailed figures for all the taskforces are being sought.
For the department as a whole, HMRC reported in its 2011-12 annual accounts that investigations raised more than £1bn.