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HMRC taskforces add £109m to public purse in 6 months

HMRC taskforces add £109m to public purse in 6 months

The specialist taskforces set up by HMRC to target sectors identified as being at the highest risk of tax fraud have netted £109m in the last six months.

HMRC figures reveal that the first three months of this year saw £64.9m brought in, which was more than twice the amount for the same period in the previous year.

Target areas

HMRC launched 27 specialised teams between April and October, aimed at areas deemed at most risk of tax fraud.

These sectors include income tax self-assessment (ITSA) repayments, hidden wealth, and the grocery and general retail sectors. One taskforce alone has been responsible for 22 arrests so far.

The taskforces combine various HMRC compliance and enforcement teams. They then embark on short bursts of activity aimed at specific sectors of tax payers, as well as distinct locations. The teams then make visits to check records and carry out detailed investigations when evidence demands it.

Clear message

Director general for enforcement and compliance at HMRC, Jennie Granger, said: "The message is clear if you try to cheat on your tax we are going to catch you – it’s only fair that we all pay what we should to fund public services."

"We have increasing amounts of intelligence, and are using state of the art digital tools to help us to identify and target high risk areas. This yield of £109m – almost double the figure for the same period in 2014 - shows that our strategy is working," Granger added.

There are more than 100 taskforces, which are separate from the other HMRC campaigns aimed at giving individuals the chance to make voluntary disclosures about tax that may be outstanding.

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