HMRC launches new property taskforce
New specialist taskforces have recently been launched to target property tax dodgers in the south west and south Wales. According to HMRC the taskforce will target those who have sold one or more properties and haven’t paid Capital Gains Tax or disclosed rental income.
The taskforces arepart of the Government’s campaign to tackle tax evasion, avoidance and fraud. HMRC aims to raise an additional £7bn each year by 2014/15 from this investment. The taskforces are part of HMRC’s wider remit to tackle evasion and avoidance which includes targeted campaigns including the recently launched tax return initiative.
The targeting of specific sectors is not an amnesty and unlike some other HMRC initiatives which seek to tempt taxpayers to come forward under favourable terms there is no formal disclosure facility on offer when a business is targeted by a taskforce. HMRC inspectors will therefore have the full range of civil and criminal sanctions at their disposal. This includes the likelihood of businesses having to repay any unpaid tax, interest and penalties.
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. For example, in a previous property taskforce in London in 2013 we uncovered a barrister who had evaded £471,512 in unreturned capital gains. The 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.’