David Gauke, the Exchequer secretary, said: “The vast majority of people play by the rules. We will not tolerate tax evasion and will crack down on the minority who choose to break the rules.
“It cannot be fair that, while most people are paying the right tax, a tiny minority are not paying what they should.
“HMRC is on target to collect more than £50 million as a result of taskforces launched in 2011-12.”
HMRC’s Jennie Granger, director general enforcement and compliance, added: “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.
“If you know anyone who is evading their taxes you can tell HMRC via the Tax Evasion Hotline by phone, on 0800 788 887, email or by post.”
Taskforces are specialist teams that undertake intensive bursts of activity in specific high risk trade sectors and locations in the UK. The teams will visit traders to examine their records and carry out other investigations.
HMRC has launched 30 taskforces since May 2011. Other taskforces launched the rag trade in the Midlands, North Wales and North West, including manufacturing, wholesale, retail and textile recycling and the alcohol industry in Scotland.
Taskforces are a result of the Government’s £917 million spending review investment to tackle tax evasion, avoidance and fraud from 2011-12, which aims to raise an additional £7 billion each year by 2014-15.