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News & Views

HMRC targets tax dodgers The specialist teams will undertake intensive bursts of compliance activity in specific high risk trade sectors and locations across the UK. The restau- rant trade in Scotland and the North West will be the next areas targeted.

Special task forces to tackle tax dodg- ers have been set up by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). The first task force will focus on the restaurant trade, tar- geting businesses in London to begin with.

The inititaive comes as a result of the Government’s £900m spending review investment to tackle tax eva- sion, avoidance and fraud. This aims to raise an additional £7 billion each year by 2014/15.

Mike Eland, director general, Enforcement and Compliance, says, “These task forces are a new approach which uses HMRC’s resources more effectively to identify and tackle rule- breakers and evaders swiftly and effectively. Only those who choose to break the rules, or deliberately evade the tax they should be paying, will be targeted. Honest businesses have absolutely nothing to worry about.”

Customs target ‘duty free’ wine sales

Restaurants in Brick Lane have been targeted by police, trading standards and customs officers after giving wine away free with meals as part of pro- motions. The cheap wine had been imported from Italy and sold to res- taurants at around £2 a bottle.

Although the wine was not being sold on to restaurant customers, import duty was still required to be paid, it is claimed. Restaurant owners in Brick Lane held a meeting of their trade association a day after the raids and

issued a warning letter to members about the wine and agreed not to use it to compete for customers.

The raids were a joint operation with HM Customs & Excise and Tower Hamlets council’s trading standards officers. Investigators are now trying to trace the distributors who sold the imported wine.

Newcomer aids scanner appeal

A new restaurant in Burton has raised over £2000 for the Queen’s Hospital Scanner Appeal, after more than 100 people from across the Midlands attended a charity dinner at the Apne India Cuisine.

Guests included the Consul General of Pakistan Dr Saeed Khan Mohmand, the Vice- Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire, Colonel Michael Beatty, Staffordshire

Spice Business Magazine

County Council chairman Erica Bayliss, Richard Grosvenor and Robert Wheeler, leaders of East Staffordshire Borough Council and South Derbyshire District Council respectively, as well as Burton and South Derbyshire MPs, Andrew Griffiths and Heather Wheeler. The Mayor and Mayoress of East Staffordshire, David and Liz Leese, also attended.

Event co-ordinator Mohammed Jamil says, “I want to thank everyone for their valuable support in making the event both enjoyable and a huge suc- cess. I am especially grateful to Azmal Hussain and his hardworking staff at the Apne India Cuisine.” Jamil and his colleagues are now preparing to raise funds for Midlands Air Ambulance.


July/August 2011

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