10 Dec Taskforces to tackle escort agencies
HMRC taskforces are comprised of multiple teams from across HMRC including special investigations, local compliance and criminal investigation units for targeting specific sectors and locations where there is a high risk of tax evasion.
The taskforces use local knowledge and risk profiling to help create a list of businesses to target. The taskforces also use special software to uncover business areas where tax evasion is common place as well as to target specific businesses.
A new specialist taskforce team has been setup to target adult club owners and adult entertainers who don’t pay their taxes in an industry that’s estimated to be worth more than £5 billion. The taskforce will target the businesses including online escort agencies and entertainers, some of whom are thought to be working in the hidden economy and not registered for VAT, Income Tax and PAYE. The taskforces are part of HMRC’s wider remit to tackle evasion and avoidance.
Businesses that are fully compliant should have nothing to worry about but any business that has deliberately evaded tax should be seriously concerned as to the implications of a visit from the taskforce. HMRC has the legal power to conduct unannounced visits to business premises and inspect business records.
Jim Stevenson, Head of HMRC Taskforces, said:
'Large numbers of people working in this industry are paying the tax they owe and they don’t have anything to worry about. The people being targeted by this taskforce have no intention of playing by the rules, and we won’t tolerate this. No industry is safe where tax evasion is concerned – we won’t stop tracking people down and taking back what they owe.'