Taskforce tracker - source data | AccountingWEB

Taskforce tracker - source data


The AccountingWEB Taskforce tracker came into being in 2011 as HMRC announced a raft of new investigations. Just under 20 were announced last year, and 12 more are planned in 2012 we are told. There is a tendency in government circles to make grand announcements and then neglect them, so our tracker is designed to keep tabs on the progress that each of them is making. A compilation of the statistics from each campaign should give us an idea of how extensively they are being pursued, and their effectiveness. But as the NAO reported last year, HMRC’s figures are very patchy. Many of the investigations might be subject to legal proceedings, so it’s fair enough that the department cannot divulge any results until verdicts are announced. But will they tell us about not-guilty verdicts? And what about negotiated settlements?

HMRC has supplied most of the figures listed in our tracker so far, and we’ll include some of the material on this thread for those who are interested. But we want to cast our net wider and to source our own data from the AccountingWEB community. Can you tell us how many of your clients/contacts have been caught by any of HMRC’s campaigns, and what the outcomes have been? This way, we hope to assemble our own investigations database to compare against HMRC’s.

If you have information on specific campaigns, please add the information to the individual headings in this discussion group, or start your own new thread.

John Stokdyk's picture

Outline task force targets for 2012-13

John Stokdyk | | Permalink

At the end of Feb, HMRC announced three new task forces targeting:

  • The rag trade
  • The motor industry
  • Indoor and outdoor markets.

The department promised 27 more task forces would get underway during the year, and some of those announced during 2011 would be extended to new regions, including the scrap metal taskforce launched in Scotland in November.

The release said HMRC expected to collect over £50m as a result of 12 taskforces launched in 2011/12 and, with 13 criminal investigations under way, it expected the figure is set to rise.

The overview of current activity in this release was very instructive, but is limited to vague expectations and references to a small number of criminal investigations. We've added the info to our Taskforce tracker - but can you help us fill in any further details:



Launch date


London restaurants

May 2011

Expected yield: £5m

A large number of cases being worked have identified significant levels of sales suppression using varying investigative techniques.

North West restaurants

May 2011

Expected yield: £4.5m

Three cases adopted by Criminal Investigations

Scotland restaurants

June 2011

Expected yield: £4m

Four cases adopted by Criminal Investigations

London fast food franchise

July 2011

Total yield to date: £10m Further £8m expected

100 per cent hit rate – with the average c£190k per business.

London fraudulent repayments

Nov 2011

Expected yield: £4.5m

Three cases adopted by Criminal Investigations

North West landlords

Nov 2011

Expected to find a high proportion of ghosts and refer for criminal/civil action

Three cases adopted by Criminal Investigations

North West construction

Nov 2011

Yield expected: £3m

Scotland scrap metal

Nov 2011

Yield expected: £3m

Scotland hot food takeaway

Nov 2011

Yield expected £6m.

Indicators show evasion by 75% in the selected population

London - property transactions

Launched in Dec 2011

Yield expectation £7m

South East Overdue Returns

Launched Nov 2011

Yield expectation £2.5m


Compliance and enforcement programme - MPs' report

nickhuber | | Permalink

MPs on the Commons Public Accounts Committee got in the act last week with a report following up on the NAO's findings about HMRC’s compliance and enforcement programme. The PAC report rehashed much of the material in the NAO's report on the programme, but raised concerns about the impact of staff cuts and  delayed IT implementations.

Although the HMRC made “substantial progress” in increasing tax yield, £1.1bn more could have been collected had HMRC not cut more than 3,000 jobs over the five-year period, the committee said. The committee was also disappointed to note that HMRC had not done enough to evaluate the programme’s impact on customers.

HMRC’s new chief executive Liz Homer, told the committee £4.32bn of additional revenue had been generated between 2006 and 2011 from £387m invested, representing an 11.1 times return on the investment. The 2008 budget for the compliance programme up to 2011 was £364m, and the actual spend was £350m, but with elements of the programme amounting to £10m shifted into 2012, and another £27m on unanticipated post-implementation costs, the total will work out to £387m.

“The very fact that this £387m of investment delivered so well is clearly what led to £917m [from the Spending Review] now being invested,” she said. “To some extent, you can see this as a pipeline, rather than a one-off opportunity. Programmes that we begin to identify, over and above the programme that we have now, will be early work for the next discussion.”


HMRC's figures showed that £1.95bn of reported yield was delivered from compliance cases generated by HMRC’s improved risk targeting and by campaigns. Some £530m of this originated from the Offshore Disclosure Facility and New Disclosure campaigns, but the information on which the NAO based its assessment predated the launch of HMRC's latest wave of targeted campaigns.

The HMRC programme, backed by £917m of funds from the Treasury, hopes to collect £8.87bn in additional tax by 2014-15. Much of this will be achieved through the task forces and campaigns that this group was set up to document.

The report also recommended that HMRC should:

  • Improve the integration of integrates new systems with existing working practices and ensure staff are trained in new technology
  • Take a “more rigorous” approach to tracking and evaluating benefits achieved by its compliance and enforcement programme
  • Pay more attention to “customer service”
  • Be more transparent and consistent in tackling tax avoidance.

Motor Indusrty, film partnerships and offshore scheme

david5541 | | Permalink

we have had the pick of the litter in terms of MOTOR INDUSTRY/SECOND CAR DEALER enquiries with one on-going and finally settled for a mere £16000(including penalties and interest-for 2 tax year dating back to 2001/02 & 2002/03)!

another settled with no adjustment  - even though the chap never gave us all his stock book info and there was a tight budget on the job initially.- this was a combined vat/inc tax visit followed by lenthy income tax correspondence, but nothing on the vat.

another which has now been referred to the ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION service  - which I would reccommend  - in its new form because of the stubborn-ness of the acting inspector not accepting available evidence..

Film partnerships

one has gone to a judicial review and is out of our hands-whew!

the other is very long running and revolves more around whether the partnership was in the course of a trade or an investment activity so again is out of the hands of our partnerhsip investor client who was issued with a long term loan to by the share in the partnership and claimed class 1 NIC & income tax relief at the time of the initial investment, 


"offshore scheme"

this looks like a version of an offshore EMPloyee benefit trust scheme launched in 2004/05 not reported on the employers' p35! flogged by smith & williamson

johnjenkins's picture

After all these and

johnjenkins | | Permalink

many more investigations etc. who will be left to generate enough wealth to keep Euroland going. Although we aren't there yet but give it a little longer and we will end up like Greece despite the warbling of the coalition.

after all these and.....

david5541 | | Permalink

"many more investigations etc. who will be left to generate enough wealth to keep Euroland going. Although we aren't there yet but give it a little longer and we will end up like Greece despite the warbling of the coalition.""" 

It surprises me that winston churchill was finally able to lead us with a STRONG coalition to victory in the 2nd world war, for which the French have only just thanked us.

Every headline about the clegg/cameroons and event demonstrates how naive and weak our leadership really is(emblematic of european style politics for many generations)

1 with what cameron said about the paakistan former president -Zadari

2 the pulling appart of his leadership by the media-aka hunt and Warsi

3 the total lack of judgement of the prime minister in referring a member of the SENIOR house of Lords to the parliamentary investigations committee

4 the total lack of judgement of the prime minister in raising the tempo with (and preaching to) eurozone leaders when the UK has remained outside the euro/Euroland

5 borrowing to the hilt on the back of cheap borrowing costs bnk rolled by a dash for sterling as a safe haven currency

soon not only could we have a weak prime minister but a weak president(aka Obama) with proposals to reform the house of lords and change the royal hereditary rule..

johnjenkins's picture

Big business

johnjenkins | | Permalink

aren't buying tickets for the Olympics - nobody else can buy them because they are too expensive. Only 4000 fans going to the Euros (football). Mind you DC is going to have a deep and meaningful discussion with AM, so big sigh of relief. At least the drought is coming to an end so if there are no jobs soon we can all hose the weeds. What we need, after a damp jubilee is a rousing general election so that we can then have a three party coalition.

London Fast Food Task Force

Saphire23 | | Permalink

I have three fast food cases, where test purchases were made. I am not impressed with HMRC as they have made sweeping generalisations, plucked a ratio from a weak business economic exercise and applied to previous years. I have percentages as high as 57% under declaration of sales being quoted when it is obvious that the client's living standards do not reflect such high earnings.

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Group: Tax investigations
A forum to share experiences and information for those involved in tax investigations.