Extra officers drafted in for tax crackdown

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is tackling gangmasters who fail to pay their tax by doubling the number of specialist officers cracking down on them.

These 100 extra specialist officers are expected to bring in an additional £0.5bn over the next four years.

They will also offer free health checks to businesses to help them use legitimate labour providers and tackle fraud within the industry. Anyone who is found guilty of tax evasion could face jail sentences.

Exchequer secretary to the Treasury David Gauke said: "The Government has invested £900m to crack down on people who break the rules. Expanding these teams will ensure that we bring in the additional money that the UK needs. Gangmasters who think they can exploit their staff and the tax system need to think again."

Mike Eland, HMRC director general of enforcement and compliance, added: "Building on our successful approach to the labour provider industry, we will tackle fraud by those employers who don't play by the rules and organised crime gangs who exploit their workers.

Labour providers found guilty of tax evasion face custodial sentences, confiscation of their assets and sanctions such as financial reporting orders and orders banning them from becoming company directors.

COMPLIANCE LAPSES

- Bogus supply chains.

- Repeated liquidations to avoid paying debts.

- Failure to keep business records.

- VAT registration applications from bogus traders.

- Failure to submit VAT returns.

- Failure to make a return of income and gains.

- Failure to pay national minimum wage and operate statutory sick pay.


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