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Tax crackdown for security industry

Press Release   •   Sep 19, 2013 11:02 BST

Tax cheats in the private security industry are being targeted as part of the next wave of taskforces launched today by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

The taskforce – aimed at security guards, bouncers and their employers – will focus on workers in London and the South East.

Taskforces are specialist teams that undertake intensive bursts of activity in specific high-risk trade sectors and locations in the UK. The teams visit traders to examine their records and carry out other investigations.

HMRC has seen an increased risk of fraudulent VAT repayment claims being submitted by the private security industry and the taskforce is expected to recover £10 million.

Other taskforces being launched today to tackle tax evasion will target:

·  the construction industry in London – set to bring in £3 million;

·  hidden wealth in the Midlands – including people with offshore accounts and those living lifestyles beyond their obvious means through assets from undeclared income. This will recover over £3 million; and

·  the hidden economy in the second-hand motor trade in the Midlands – which will recover over £3 million.

David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said:

“We are determined to support hardworking people who want to get on, but the people being targeted by these taskforces have no intention of playing by the rules. This Government has made it clear that we will not tolerate tax evasion and we have provided HMRC with the resources to crack down on those who break the rules.”

HMRC has collected more than £90 million as a result of taskforces launched since 2011-12. It expects to bring in over £90 million per year from taskforces launched over the next three years.

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. If you have declared all your income, you have nothing to worry about. But, if you haven't, we will find you, investigate you and not only could you face a heavy fine, but a criminal prosecution as well.”

A Memorandum of Understanding with the Security Industry Authority was signed with HMRC on 9 September to strengthen the exchange of information between both organisations. This will help prevent, detect and prosecute criminal activity and ensure that everyone pays their fair share of tax.

If you know anyone who is evading their taxes, you can tell HMRC by calling the Tax Evasion Hotline on 0800 788 887.

HMRC is currently running the second stage of its evasion publicity campaign through a series of targeted advertisements, including radio advertising and over 3,000 billboards in public areas. The campaign works alongside existing compliance activity such as data collection, taskforces and enforcement to raise awareness among those breaking the rules that HMRC is closing in on undeclared income.

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.

2.  HMRC has launched 54 taskforces since 2011. A further 16 are planned for 2013-14 and up to 30 for 2014-15.

3.  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.

4.  HMRC’s evasion publicity campaign first aired from November 2012 to February 2013. The second burst runs from the 2 September to 4 October. Further information is available here.

5.  Follow HMRC on Twitter @HMRCgovuk

6.  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.