More HMRC crackdowns are on the way to catch tax evaders

HMRC has released details of further campaigns to crackdown on tax evasion, a move which might be of interest to contractor accountants.

The Revenue has confirmed that in the next 12 months it will be targeting people who default on VAT, private tutors, tradesmen who were not covered by the plumbers amnesty and e-marketplace traders.

No fixed timetable has yet been released but it is thought that specific time-limited amnesties will be announced over the coming months. It is also believed that HMRC now has possession of powerful web trawling tools which are capable of identifying mismatches between income and expenditure and could home in on cases where a person’s lifestyle seems to far exceed their declared income.

It has been rumoured for a while that HMRC will target the e-marketplace to catch people who consistently buy goods over the Internet and then resell them for a profit. They will not targeting people who make occasional sales but non registered traders should be aware that they could face investigation.

The director of risk and intelligence at HMRC, Mike Wells, says that the Revenue hopes to maximise the exchange of information by declaring its areas of interest well in advance, as well as closing the tax gap and helping customers pay their tax liabilities.

The information gathered will be used to pursue those who do not take advantage of disclosure opportunities. Wells stressed that it was in everybody’s best interests to make voluntary declarations rather than face the much higher penalties that will be levied if the Revenue has to come and seek them out.

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