Enforcement agencies in the West Midlands combined forces yesterday (11 July 2013) to target drivers in the haulage industry on the M6 and M42 suspected of tax evasion and other criminal activity.
The HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) led operation included officers from West Midlands Police, Central Motorway Patrol Group and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency.
The operation resulted in 32 vehicles being stopped for a number offences, including:
- One Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) found to be using rebated oil illegally in its running tank. This vehicle was seized pending further investigations.
- Another vehicle was suspected of using laundered fuel and a sample has been sent for analysis.
- Five drivers appear not be registered for Income Tax Self Assessment.
- One driver is suspected of claiming benefits fraudulently.
- Another driver had no HGV licence, insurance or Operator’s Licence. He was immediately stopped from driving. A further three vehicles were found with no Operator’s Licence.
- 12 drivers were found to have either exceeded their driving hours, or to have unroadworthy vehicles; four HGVs were banned from moving until tyres were replaced.
Bob Gaiger from HMRC said:
“This is part of the HMRC wider regional taskforce activity launched this week, concentrating on the haulage industry in the Midlands. We worked with our partners to share resources and intelligence in order to clamp down on those breaking the law, and to ensure our roads are safe.
“Evading tax is a deliberate decision by people not to pay the tax which they know is due. Our intelligence suggests that there is a significant risk of under-declaration of tax within the haulage industry across the Midlands and it will not be tolerated. It deprives the community of funds and gives dishonest traders an unfair advantage over legitimate businesses.”
Notes for editors
- 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.
- HMRC has launched 43 taskforces since 2011. A further 27 are planned for 2013-14 and 30 for 2014-15.
- Taskforces have been made possible by the Government’s £917 million spending review investment to tackle tax evasion, avoidance and fraud from 2011-12, which aims to raise an additional £7 billion each year by 2014-15. In total 5,641 litres of alcohol were seized during the operation - 5,177 litres of beer, 272 litres of wine and 192 litres of spirits.
- People who are aware of someone who is evading their taxes can tell HMRC via the Tax Evasion Hotline by phone, on 0800 788 887, by email or by post. Full details can be found here.
- Laundered fuel is red (or green) diesel, which has been filtered through chemicals or acids to remove the Government marker. The chemicals and acids remain in the fuel and damage fuel pumps in diesel cars.
- Red diesel is marked gas oil or a rebated fuel for use in agricultural machinery and not for use in road vehicles.
- Follow HMRC on Twitter at: @hmrcgovuk
- HMRC’s Flickr channel www.flickr.com/hmrcgovuk
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.