HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is going to launch one of three new taskforces which will seek to uncover tax evasion among taxi drivers. Other groups to be target are street market traders and buy to let landlords.
After the Government’s £917million spending review, the decision came to tackle certain locations across Britain which are known to have high levels of tax evaders. By the year 2014/14 the government expects to recover an extra £7billion each year. So far they’ve raised £50million this year.
The notorious taxi firms that these taskforces will be targeting are primarily based in Nottingham, Yorkshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire. After working in these areas the taskforce hope to recover over £2million.
Speaking on this issue the 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 choose 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.”
“This is not an empty threat – HMRC can and will track you down if you choose to break the rules.” Similarly, taxi drivers should make sure they are covered with taxi insurance before they drive because costs of being caught out can be severe.
However these serious threats have not seemed to resonate with everyone listening, as some individuals have criticised the leeway HMRC seem to have given other big businesses. Large firms like Vodafone seem to have been let off for large amount of outstanding tax.
It’s been claimed that the mobile company struck a ‘sweetheart’ deal with the tax office, paying just £1billion instead of their £6billion tax bill.
Gary Ashford of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) recommends that any tax evaders should come forward before they are found. He said, “Anyone who has been evading tax, whether income tax, PAYE or other taxes, in any part of the country should consider coming forward.”
“Voluntary disclosure usually leads to lower penalties, a reduced chance of prosecution and a reduced risk of being ‘named’ under the publication of details of deliberate defaulters scheme.”