Accountants north of the border will no doubt be aware that HMRC began a campaign targeting tax evading Scottish restaurateurs at the end of last year.
The Revenue has that two people have been arrested in Glasgow for failing to pay the correct amount of VAT. Taskforce officials from HMRC visited a restaurant and three private homes last week and the accountants of the restaurant concerned were issued with an order to produce the business records.
This latest move is part of a long line of Revenue campaigns to stamp out tax evasion. HMRC will be launching similar sector specific campaigns, targeting geographical locations where gathered intelligence leads it to believe tax evasion activities are underway, in the next few months.
Pauline Younger, the lead of the Scottish restaurants taskforce, said the Revenue takes a hard line with businesses that deliberately break the rules to evade paying taxes. The recent raids and arrests were part of a co-ordinated operation targeting the Scottish restaurant trade.
Honest traders have nothing to fear but businesses that deliberately evade tax will be tracked down and in addition to a heavy fine, could find themselves facing a criminal prosecution.
In the recent Glasgow raid, one man and one woman were arrested and interviewed. They were later released on bail pending further investigations.
There’s no doubt that HMRC is determined to crack down on anybody who does not pay the right amount of tax. With the current financial year drawing to a close tomorrow, this could be the ideal time to get your tax affairs in order and start the new year with a clean slate.