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HMRC latest 'tax cheat' targets

HMRC have launched a new taskforce to tackle wealthy tax cheats who are living beyond their means in Northern Ireland and expect the campaign to recover approximately £18 million.

HMRC have announced that they are using Land Registry and Merchant Acquirer data to identify those with 'badges of wealth' such as large houses, aeroplanes, boats and undeclared offshore bank accounts which are not in keeping with the information they report to HMRC.

HMRC's Ian McCafferty, Taskforce Lead, said:

'Our intelligence shows that people being targeted by this taskforce have no intention of playing by the rules and could end up facing a heavy fine or even a criminal conviction. Those who pay the tax they are supposed to have nothing to worry about.

Using the information we hold, we can target people whose lifestyle does not reflect the tax they are paying. It's not fair that a small minority are living the millionaire lifestyle as a result of them not paying their tax, while the rest of us live within our means and pay our fair share.

Earlier this year a separate taskforce used similar HMRC data to identify and prosecute Dr Francis Gerard D'Arcy, a Belfast ear, nose and throat consultant. After a successful prosecution, he was sentenced to four concurrent, two-year jail sentences for evading taxes of nearly £500,000. This new taskforce will be targeting similar wealthy individuals who have evaded their taxes.'

Other HMRC taskforces are in operation in various parts of the country.

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