A taskforce set to force tax dodgers in the restaurant businesses to pay up has launched in Yorkshire and Humber.
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will be visiting non-payers in the Yorkshire and Humber area in a bid to recover the £3.8m owed in unpaid tax from the restaurant trade. HMRC today confirmed that taskforces regularly hit their targets when it comes to reclaiming funds.
David Gauke, the exchequer secretary to the Treasury, said: "We are determined to support hardworking people who want to get on in this industry and every other. However, the people being targeted by this taskforce have no intention of playing by the rules. The Government will not tolerate tax evasion and we have provided HMRC with the resources to crack down on those who break the rules."
Taskforces to reclaim tax have been in operation since 2011 and have already reportedly brought in over £80m in unpaid funds, with an estimated £90m still to bring in over the next three years, across many sectors including hospitality.
HMRC's Jennie Granger, director general enforcement and compliance, said: "Our message is clear - if you seek to evade tax or defraud the tax system, HMRC can and will track you down. You will face not only a heavy fine, but possibly a criminal prosecution as well."
Taskforces against tax avoiders in the holiday industry were also launched this week in Blackpool, North and South Wales, Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and the Isles of Scilly, along with teams to tackle avoiders in the Scottish fishing industry, and road hauliers in the Midlands.
Taskforces are aiming to raise £7bn each year by 2014-15.