Taskforces to tackle VAT fraud in the Midlands and Nottingham
Two new specialist taskforce teams have recently begun to target businesses in the Midlands and Nottingham who try to fraudulently reclaim VAT, in particular businesses being set up purely for the purpose of making false VAT repayments claims. The taskforces are part of HMRC’s wider remit to tackle evasion and avoidance.
HMRC taskforces are comprised of multiple teams from across HMRC including special investigations, local compliance and criminal investigation units for targeting specific sectors and locations where there is a high risk of tax evasion.
The taskforces use local knowledge and risk profiling to help create a list of businesses to target. The taskforces also use special software to uncover business areas where tax evasion is common place as well as to target specific businesses.
Businesses that are fully compliant should have nothing to worry about but any business that has deliberately evaded tax should be seriously concerned as to the implications of a visit from the taskforce. HMRC has the legal power to conduct unannounced visits to business premises and inspect business records.
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.’