HMRC has identified over £9m owed in undeclared tax as a result of its fast food outlet crackdown in London and revealed big business involvement.
The fast food taskforce visited 85 businesses over the past six months and identified errors or tax evasion in each outlet investigated. HMRC is yet to name and shame the offenders but said it is not just small, family-run business that are guilty but also multi-million pound enterprises were also found to be at fault.
According to the department, the wrongdoers cited mis-programmed tills, incorrect data entered into the tills and cold takeaway products (subject to zero-rated VAT) as reasons for non-payment of tax. HMRC also found that the tills were not programmed to capture the VAT on eat-in sales.
The department launched the taskforce in July 2011, claiming some of the city's fast food retailers were deliberately falsifying their records and misdeclaring sales levels to avoid paying tax.
HMRC advised the specialist team will conduct more visits to London’s fast food outlets in the New Year and expects to recoup many millions of pounds in undeclared taxes.
Click here to view all sectors HMRC has targeted since it launched the taskforce initiative in 2010.