Tax cheats in the South West who try to fraudulently reclaim VAT are being targeted by a HM Revenue and Customs taskforce.
Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said it had identified an increased risk of false VAT repayment claims in the region, in particular businesses being set up purely for that purpose.
The VAT repayment taskforce – targeted at individuals and businesses in Cornwall and Devon, as well as Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset and West Wiltshire – aims to tackle the fraud.
David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, all corrsaid: “We are determined to support hardworking people who want to get on, but the people being targeted by these taskforces have no intention of playing by the rules.
“This Government has made it clear that we will not tolerate tax evasion and has provided HMRC with the resources to crack down on those who break the rules.”
HMRC has collected more than £100 million as a result of taskforces launched since 2011-12. It expects to bring in over £90 million a year from taskforces launched over the next three years.