A TASKFORCE to tackle tax dodgers in Scottish pubs and nightclubs was this week launched by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
The teams will visit traders to examine their records and carry out other investigations.
HMRC will target pubs and nightclubs in the local area where there is high risk that they are evading their tax responsibilities. This includes individuals with links to tobacco and alcohol smuggling and those that have different tax performances from the norm.
Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said: “This taskforce will bring in more than £5 million.
“We are committed to tackling tax evasion and avoidance. HMRC’s taskforces are cracking down on people who choose to break the rules.
“It is completely unacceptable, at a time when we are trying to bring down the deficit, that a small minority try to get out of contributing their fair share.”
HMRC’s Mike Eland, Director General Enforcement and Compliance, emphasised that tax must be paid in full and the new taksforces will find the minority who break the rules.
He said: “Deliberately evading tax you should be paying can land you with not only a heavy fine, but possibly a criminal prosecution as well.
“HMRC can and will track you down if you choose to break the rules.”
Revenue and Customs launched 12 taskforces in 2011/12 and 30 more will follow in 2012/13. HMRC is on target to collect more than £50 million as a result of the taskforces.
Anyone aware of someone who is evading their taxes can tell HMRC via the Tax Evasion Hotline by phone, on 0800 788 887, e-mail or by post. www.hmrc.gov.uk