New tax evasion taskforce targets Scottish scrap metal industry

Accountants working north of the border may be interested to read that Scottish scrap metal dealers are the latest target for HMRC tax avoidance inspectors.

A new taskforce will clamp down on Scottish dealers who deliberately fail to pay the correct tax. HMRC believes that the scrap metal industry is a high-risk sector when it comes to tax evasion.

The price of copper has been rising this year and this has led to an increase in rail cable thefts. This in turn has caused widespread disruption to rail travellers and there have been calls for increased regulation for the scrap metal industry.

So far, HMRC has not introduced any new compliance procedures but this latest taskforce gives out a strong message to those indulging in criminal activities.

David Gauke, the Exchequer Secretary, has repeatedly said that the government will not tolerate people who ignore the rules.

Earlier this year, HMRC set up a taskforce to investigate restaurants suspected of tax evasion. 531 outlets were identified as potential offenders, 222 of them in Scotland. Now, the Revenue is planning to investigate fast food outlets north of the border suspected on not declaring their true sales.

A total of five new taskforces were announced last week. Other sectors to come under the spotlight include landlords and self-employed construction workers in North Wales and North West England and South East taxpayers who have failed to submit statutory returns.

We are likely to see HMRC introduce more taskforces in the coming months as it steps up its bid to eliminate tax evasion completely.

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