Builders in North Wales and the North-west of England are being targeted in a government tax-dodging crackdown aimed at raising £7 billion a year.
A special taskforce set up by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs is set to descend on the region on the lookout for construction professionals who are understating their sales or overstating their expenses.
Taskforces are specialist teams that undertake intensive bursts of compliance activity in specific high risk trade sectors and locations across the UK.
Mike Wells, HMRC’s Director of Risk and Intelligence, said tax evaders in the construction industry could expect heavy fines and even prison sentences.
“These taskforces will come down hard and fast on those who have chosen to break the rules and deliberately evade the taxes they should be paying,” he said.
“HMRC is clear – if you deliberately seek to evade tax we can and will track you down and you’ll face not only a heavy fine, but possibly a criminal prosecution as well.”
Taskforces come as a result of the Government’s £900m spending review re-investment to tackle tax evasion, avoidance and fraud from 2011/12, which aims to raise an additional £7 billion each year by 2014/15.
HMRC is planning 12 taskforces in 2011/12, with more to follow in 2012/13.