Tax dodging take-aways in Wisbech suspected of evading VAT could owe £100,000

HMRC in Wisbech. Take aways targetted but so too were those selling illegal cigarettes and tobacco.

HMRC in Wisbech. Take aways targetted but so too were those selling illegal cigarettes and tobacco. - Credit: Archant

THREE tax dodging Wisbech take-aways who potentially owe over £100,000 were caught in a single night by a revenue task force.

THREE tax dodging Wisbech take-aways who potentially owe over £100,000 were caught in a single night by a revenue task force.

“The traders who we caught will have to pay what they owe plus additional penalties and interest on top,” said Caroline Benbrook of the Government’s revenue and customs hidden economy group.

Three other fast food outlets are suspected of evading VAT by submitting false returns she said “including one who admitted throwing all his receipts in the bin.”

The task force sent into Wisbech heard a series of excuses from those left to run the premises.


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“It’s my uncle’s shop - I don’t know his name” one worker told Ms Benbrook’s team whilst another said he had “just started today and I do not have a telephone number for the boss”.

The evening visits last week were linked to HMRC’s task force that was set up to tackle tax evasion in the East Anglia fast food industry.

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Ms Benbrook said: “The operation in Wisbech is part of our ongoing work to catch those fraudsters who try to stay outside of the tax system.

The operation also uncovered four employers that were paying cash wages to their staff without deducting PAYE and NIC. Another trader received undeclared rental income while one owner was found to be paying his staff below the national minimum wage.

On the same night another task force struck elsewhere in Wisbech, seizing 8,240 cigarettes of mixed brands and 42 kilos of hand rolling tobacco all smuggled goods, from a shop and a van parked outside.

A revenue spokesman said: “The van was restored to the owner after a fine of £1,000 was paid. The total duty evaded is estimated at £ 9,093.79.”

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