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HMRC targets wealthy tax cheats in Scotland

Press release   •   Aug 03, 2015 13:17 BST

A taskforce tackling wealthy tax cheats who are living beyond their means in Scotland was launched today by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

HMRC is identifying individuals with ‘badges of wealth’ such as large houses, investments, aeroplanes, boats and undeclared offshore bank accounts which are not in keeping with the information they report to HMRC.

The taskforce is expected to recover nearly £4.5million. It will bring together specialist officers from across HMRC to identify wealth indicators and cross reference them with the data HMRC holds about their owners.

HMRC’s Michael Connolly, HMRC Taskforce Lead in Scotland, said:

“HMRC’s intelligence shows that people being targeted by this taskforce have no intention of playing by the rules. They are deliberately failing to declare all their income to HMRC in a crude attempt to line their own pockets, and they will be investigated.

“As a result of this behaviour, they could end up facing a heavy fine or even a criminal conviction. Those who pay the tax they are supposed to have nothing to worry about.

“Using information we hold, we can target people whose lifestyle does not reflect the tax they are paying. It’s not fair that a small minority are living millionaire lifestyles as a result of not paying the tax they owe.”

Earlier this year, Garry Gibson, an Edinburgh building boss was electronically tagged for eight months and ordered to repay money after an HMRC investigation found he had defrauded £220,000. Gibson now has a criminal record. This new taskforce will be targeting similar wealthy individuals who have evaded their taxes.

If you know someone who is evading their taxes, 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. Link to Garry Gibson’s news release:
  3. HMRC’s Flickr channel
  4. Follow HMRC’s Press Office on Twitter @HMRCpressoffice

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.