HMRC's Compliance Taskforces

Latest round of compliance taskforces announced by HMRC
On 19 September HMRC launched new task forces to challenge tax evasion.

Who are the likely targets?
HMRC has announced that taskforce targets will include:

  • workers and employers in the private security industry in London and the South East (expected recovery £10 million)
  • the construction industry in London (expected recovery £3 million)
  • hidden wealth in the Midlands including people with offshore accounts and those living beyond their obvious means through assets from undelcared income (expected recovery £3 million)
  • the hidden economy in the second hand motor trade in the Midlands (expected recovery £3 million).

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 task forces launched over the next three years.

Key features of taskforces

  • Set up with the remit to support HMRC's strategy to tackle tax evasion using local knowledge and risk profiling
  • Teams formed across HMRC, including criminal investigations, specialist investigations and local compliance
  • Some cases may take an extended period of time to finalise
  • There is no formal disclosure opportunity
  • Cases will include a review of all taxes – income, corporate, VAT, PAYE and NIC.

What are the potential consequences of a taskforce enquiry?

  • HMRC has access to a full range of civil and criminal sanctions to use against those found to be evading tax. To deter others from tax evasion, taskforces will publish the names of tax evaders, under the Publishing Names of Deliberate Defaulters initiative
  • If a business is investigated by one of HMRC’s taskforce it can be stressful, time consuming and will involve extensive searches through business and tax records
  • Anyone concerned about the risk of an HMRC enquiry, and believes they may have some tax to pay, should consider coming forward and making an unprompted disclosure to HMRC. This would reduce the penalty charge after the enquiry.

How can Grant Thornton help?
Grant Thornton’s award winning National Tax Investigations team are specialists when it comes to dealing with tax enquiries. The team has extensive experience of helping clients through cases and negotiating with HMRC, whether the client makes a disclosure or HMRC starts an investigation. The team seeks to secure a fair outcome for the client, whatever the circumstances. Contact us now for a free preliminary consultation on 0845 868 2050 today.