Midlands restaurant owners are to be targeted by a new taskforce, created and trained by HMRC to check and collect tax payments by these businesses.
This new taskforce is one of six created by HMRC, and follows a tax-review of restaurants in London, the North West, and Scotland.
The taskforce initiative, that has already seen nine others created, has already captured extra tax, interest, and fines totaling more than £50 million.
According to Will Silsby, the technical tax expert at Worcester-based Bishop Fleming Rabjohns: “Midlands restaurant owners can now expect a pre-arranged visit and review of their business records.
“These HMRC taskforces are specialist teams, targeting tax evaders by undertaking intensive spot-check investigations to examine business records”, said Mr Silsby.
HMRC are also planning a taskforce to investigate taxi firms in the East Midlands.
“Even businesses that have nothing to hide can find that this process takes up a huge amount of time and professional fees. That can be massively reduced by taking out the type of tax-investigation insurance policy that firms like Bishop Fleming provide”, said Mr Silsby.
The HMRC taskforce initiative is part of the government’s plan to crack down on tax evasion. Exchequer Secretary, David Gauke, said: “We have made it clear that we will not tolerate tax evasion – everyone needs to pay the taxes they owe in full.
“We are determined to crack down on the minority who whose to break the rules. It is not fair that, at a time when most hard-working people are paying the right tax, others are trying to get out of paying what they should”, he added.
Bishop Fleming Rabjohns’ Will Silsby said: “HMRC looks like collecting more than £50 million as a result of the 12 taskforces it has created in the past 12 months. A tripling of these taskforces fits with the government’s £917 million investment to tackle tax evasion and fraud”.