More to come. After launching nearly 40 task forces in the last two years HMRC hasn’t yet run out of steam and the latest batch are aimed at different industries as far apart as the Isles of Scilly and Scotland. The new task forces are aimed at the:
- fishing industry in Scotland
- restaurants in the North East and Lincolnshire
- road hauliers in the Midlands
- holiday industry in the North West
- holiday industry in South Wales
- holiday industry in North Wales
- holiday industry in the South West, including the Isles of Scilly.
Landlords beware the wider net. Those task forces focusing on the holiday industry won’t confine themselves to landlords living in the local area. Inevitably, HMRC will be contacting the owners of holiday properties, no matter where they live.
Other forces. In the early days we heard through the grapevine that some of HMRC’s task force officers weren’t well informed about the industry sectors they were investigating. That’s less likely to be the case now, plus they are increasingly getting other forces involved, like the police and the Home Office. The latter will check that you’re keeping the right paperwork for any foreign workers you employ.
Make the right first move. It’s easy for HMRC to say you have nothing to fear if you aren’t unfairly avoiding tax, but in our experience if it’s looking for trouble it might find it even where there isn’t any. Therefore, if you’re contacted by an HMRC task force we recommend speaking to your tax advisor immediately. Also consider what other areas a task force may look at such as, for hauliers, vehicle roadworthiness.