PROPERTY tax dodgers in Sunderland are to be targeted by a new specialist taskforce.
The HMRC team, which will also cover Durham, aims to claw back millions of pounds in lost tax on rented buildings.
Exchequer secretary David Gauke said: “We have made it clear that we will not tolerate tax evasion, everyone needs to pay the taxes they owe in full.”
Other areas covered by the taskforce, which is expected to recover more than £17million from tax evaders, include London, East Anglia and Yorkshire.
“We are determined to crack down on the minority who choose to break the rules,” said Mr Gauke.
The property rental team is one of a range of HMRC taskforces undertaking intensive bursts of activity in specific high-risk trade sectors and locations in the UK.
The Government department has launched 12 taskforces in the past year, with 30 more expected to be set up in the coming months.
The teams will visit traders to examine their records and carry out other investigations. Mike Eland, HMRC Director General of Enforcement and Compliance, said: “These six new taskforces will bring together specialists from across HMRC to tackle tax dodgers.
“If you have paid all your taxes you have nothing to worry about.
“But deliberately evading tax you should be paying can land you with not only a heavy fine but possibly a criminal prosecution as well.
“This is not an empty threat – HMRC can and will track you down if you choose to break the rules.”
The taskforces are being launched as a result of the government’s £917m spending review investment to tackle tax evasion, avoidance and fraud from 2011 to 2012
It aims to raise an additional £7 billion each year by 2014 to 2015. Anyone who is aware of someone who is evading taxes can report them to HMRC via the Tax Evasion Hotline on 0800 788 887.
Alternatively, visit www.hmrc.gov.uk for more information.