HMRC launches tax cheat scheme in rental sector

by Sarah Ashcroft

Landlords operating within the private rental sector may want to warn their tenants about the dangers of failing to pay the correct tax on their rental agreements.

A new taskforce created by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and launched in the south-east of England today (November 19th) is set to drive home the importance of keeping up-to-date with payments.

The body claims that it expects to recover almost £4 million as part of the investigation, which aims to ensure that individuals are unable to slip under the net by failing to part with the correct sum of money.

It comes as part of a governmental £917 million spending review investment to tackle tax avoidance, fraud and evasion in a bid to raise an additional £7 billion every year by 2014-15.

The move also includes task forces to investigate the alcohol industry in Scotland, as well as the rag trade - including wholesale, retail, textile recycling and manufacturing - in the north-west, North Wales and the Midlands.

Commenting on the launch of the scheme, exchequer secretary David Gauke said while the majority of people play by the rules, the HMRC will not tolerate the minority who fail to do so.

In addition, the official revealed that the body is currently on target to collect more than £50 million as a result of task forces launched in the UK in the last 12 months.

Landlords or residents who know of anyone who is deliberately avoiding paying tax have been urged to contact HMRC through its hotline, or via email or post.

Jennie Granger, director of general enforcement and compliance at HMRC, said: "HMRC is serious about tackling people who are not paying what they should. Anyone deliberately evading tax should watch out - HMRC is closing in on tax cheats."

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Published on: November 19, 2012

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