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Crackdown on VAT tax dodgers in the Midlands

Press Release   •   Sep 19, 2014 12:10 BST

A taskforce tackling fraudulent VAT repayments in the Birmingham, Coventry, Stoke and Wolverhampton areas was launched today by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

The taskforce is expected to recover nearly £7 million.

Over £22 million has been recovered as a result of VAT Repayments taskforces throughout the UK since 2012.

Taskforces expect to bring in over £100 million during 2014 to 2015.

HMRC’s Jennie Granger, Director General of Enforcement and Compliance, said:

“HMRC taskforces are deployed in sectors and areas where we've detected a high risk of tax evasion. People being targeted by our taskforces have no intention of playing by the rules and could end up facing a heavy fine or even a criminal conviction.

“In a previous VAT Taskforce a trader who claimed to be exporting vehicles and second-hand white goods to Africa was found to have fraudulently reclaimed over £500,000 of input tax. He was sentenced to four and a half years’ imprisonment and was disqualified from being a company director for six years. 

“If you haven’t declared all of your income, we will find you and investigate.”

People who know someone who is evading their taxes can tell HMRC by calling the Tax Evasion Hotline on 0800 788 887.

Notes for editors

1.  Taskforces bring together various HMRC compliance and enforcement teams for intensive bursts of activity targeted at specific sectors and locations where there is evidence of high risk of tax evasion and fraud. The teams visit traders to examine their records and carry out other investigations.

2.  HMRC has launched 70 taskforces since 2011. A further 30 are planned for 2014 to 2015.Taskforces have been made possible by the government’s £917 million spending review investment to tackle tax evasion, avoidance and fraud from 2011 to 2012, which aims to raise an additional £7 billion each year by 2014 to 2015.

3.  Taskforces expect to bring in over £100 million during 2014 to 2015.

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Issued by HM Revenue & Customs Press Office

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the UK’s tax authority.

HMRC is responsible for making sure that the money is available to fund the UK’s public services and for helping families and individuals with targeted financial support.