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HMRC's next campaign is VAT clampdown
by Susie Hughes at 08:48 23/05/11 (News on Business)
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is cracking down on VAT rule breakers with a new campaign focusing on individuals and businesses who are trading above the VAT threshold but who have not yet registered for VAT.
The initiative is being discussed with interested parties to ensure HMRC has as much information from them as possible before launching the campaign later in the summer.

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Mike Wells, HMRC's Director of Risk and Intelligence, said: “Our aim is to get as much input as possible into our future campaigns so that the views and experience of people and organisations outside the department play a fuller part in what we design for customers.

“We are already in contact with a number of interested parties and I expect many more to contact us with their views before we finalise the design of the VAT initiative.

“This will be the model for all our future campaigns and we look forward to being even more open about the compliance activity HMRC is undertaking to ensure we reduce the tax gap and help customers pay what they owe.”

The VAT threshold is currently £73,000 turnover on a rolling annual basis. In previous years it was: 2006/07 – £61,000; 2007/08 – £64,000; 2008/09 - £67,000; 2009/10 - £68,000; 2010/11 - £70,000.

Campaigns
This is the latest in a series of targetted campaigns by HMRC. Each campaign is aimed at reducing the tax gap by focusing on areas where HMRC has identified a significant underpayment. The department provides opportunities for customers to put their records in order on the best possible terms, followed immediately by activity focused on the non-compliant who choose not to take up the opportunity. HMRC has raised over £500m from voluntary disclosures and a further £100m so far from follow-up activity.

Previous campaigns have targeted offshore investments, medical professionals and people working in the plumbing industry. For each HMRC has used new technology and legislation to gather and analyse data, from internal and external sources, to identify people who should come forward. This has provided thousands more investigations, now being worked through, including a number of criminal investigations.

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Susie Hughes © Shout99 2011

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