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HMRC target fast food ‘VAT abuse’

printer Mail

HMRC have launched their fourth tax evasion task force in three months, declaring that ‘there is a problem with some fast food outlets deliberately falsifying their records and mis-declaring their true sales levels’.

The new task force will tackle ‘VAT abuse’ in London’s fast food outlets. HMRC said honest businesses have ‘absolutely nothing to worry about’.

Mike Wells, HMRC's Director of Risk and Intelligence, said: ‘This task force will come down hard on fast food outlets that have chosen to break the rules and evade the taxes they should be paying.'

'The task forces bring together HMRC compliance and enforcement teams for ‘intensive bursts of activity targeted at specific sectors and locations where there is evidence of high risk of tax evasion’, HMRC said.

Compliance activity through taskforces ‘typically [focuses] on groups of up to around 600 customers in specific locations’.

The first task force, announced on 12 May, was set to focus on the restaurant trade in London. The second and third task forces will tackle restaurants in Scotland and the North West of England. A further nine task forces are planned for 2011/12, with more to follow in 2012/13.