A TASKFORCE to tackle suspected tax dodgers within the fast food trade in East Anglia is being launched today by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

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The taskforce, part of a £917million investment by the Government which aims to raise an addition £7billion in tax revenue a year by 2014-15, is expected to recover around £5m in unpaid tax.

HMRC taskforces bring together compliance and enforcement specialists and focus on specific high-risk trade sectors and locations, with teams visiting traders to examine their records and carry out other investigations.

David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said: “This taskforce is targeting people who are not playing by the rules. Most of us pay what we should.

“We have made it clear that we will not tolerate tax evasion and will crack down on those who break the rules. “

“HMRC is on track to collect more than £50m as a result of taskforces launched in 2011-12. We expect over £90m from this year’s taskforces.”

Jennie Granger, HMRC director general for enforcement and compliance, added: “Most people and businesses voluntarily comply, so it is important we deal firmly with those who don’t.

“The message is clear – if you choose to defraud the tax system or seek to evade tax, we can and will track you down. You will face not only a heavy fine, but possibly a criminal prosecution as well.”

Also announced by HMRC today were taskforces to tackle tax evasion in Northern Ireland, self assessment repayments in London and the South East and the jewellery trade in the Midlands.

Anyone aware of an individual or organisation evading tax can call HMRC’s Tax Evasion Hotline on 0800 788887.

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