We welcome the news that the tax authorities are to double the number of specialist officers cracking down on labour providers who fail to pay tax.
Dubious practices predate the establishment of the Gangmaster Licensing authority but have continued with evasion making it very difficult for correctly run agencies to compete as it is far from a level playing field.
HM Revenue & Customs has said it will increase the number of officers dealing with the sector from 100 to 200. It cited a number of compliance problems in the sector, including bogus supply chains, repeated liquidations, failure to keep business records and bogus VAT registrations.
David Gauke, exchequer secretary to the Treasury, said: “This government has invested £900m in HMRC to crack down on people who break the rules. Expanding these teams will help make sure that we bring in the additional revenue that the UK needs.
“They aim to stop tax losses and increase tax yields by more than half a billion pounds over the next four years. Gangmasters who think they can exploit their staff and the tax system need to think again.”
The additional 100 officers will also offer free health checks to businesses to help them use legitimate labour providers and tackle fraud within the industry.
The Association of Labour Providers (ALP) issues minimum guidance rates but we still here stories about labour providers putting in labour at well under these rates and the economics simply don’t stack up so “cheating” is occurring somewhere so unusually we wish the Taxman every success in the clampdown.
Author: Chris Slay
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