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Tax fraud tackled in the Scottish fishing industry

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is seeking to level the playing field within Scotland’s fishing industry by sending a taskforce out to tackle its tax evaders.
The taskforce is set to cover all areas of the Scottish fishing industry, including tax evasion by crews, fishing vessel owners and fish processors. It is hoped the entire process will recoup around £3.6 million in revenue from tax dodgers.
HMRC is set to work closely with Police Scotland, Immigration Enforcement, Border Force and the Gangmasters Licensing Authority as part of a multi-agency approach to identify regular occurrences of migrant labour abuse via fraudulent access to benefits and public services or by exploitative employers.
With more than £80 million collected as a result of HMRC taskforces since 2011/12, it expects to bring in a further £90 million a year from its taskforces over the next three years.
David Gauke, exchequer secretary to the Treasury, said: "The vast majority of people working in the Scottish fishing industry are law-abiding people who pay the right taxes at the right time but their livelihoods are often undermined by those who do not play by the rules. We are determined to support those hardworking people who want to go on in this industry and every other.
"However, the people being targeted by this taskforce have no intention of playing by the rules. The Government has made it clear that we will not tolerate tax evasion and we have provided HMRC with the resources to crack down on those who break the rules."
Other HMRC taskforces tackling tax evasion were launched this week, seeking out tax dodgers in the holiday industry in Blackpool, the Lake District and North Wales, restaurants in Lincolnshire and Tyneside, and road hauliers in Milton Keynes, Oxford and Northampton.

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