Businesses across nine counties were visited in May, including shops, takeaways and restaurants
A Nuneaton business was hit by the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) as part of UK crackdown on till fraud. There was a day of action staged by officers after new powers went live to fight against tax evasion.
The government office has confirmed that while arrests were made elsewhere in the country, an undisclosed business in Nuneaton was visited as part of the sting against businesses involved in making, supplying or promoting Electronic Sales Suppression (ESS) systems that help users hide or reduce the value of till sales.
Businesses across nine counties were visited in May, including shops, takeaways and restaurants.
Two men were arrested along with a 56-year-old woman on suspicion of fraud offences and cheating the revenue in Nottinghamshire. HMRC officers raided three addresses and seized computers, digital devices and paperwork was seized.
All three suspects have since been released under investigation.
Lucy Frazer, financial secretary to the Treasury, said: The overwhelming majority of businesses are paying their taxes and rightly want to see HMRC stepping in where needed to ensure a level playing field for all. Tax crime does not stand still and neither do we – the new powers available to HMRC allow them to clamp down on ESS and help recover tax revenues to fund our vital public services.
Under the new powers, businesses fraudulently using ESS systems now face fines of up to £50,000 ($62,898.00) and criminal investigations.
Marc Gill, HMRC’s director of individuals and small business compliance, said: Electronic Sales Suppression gives the appearance a business is trading legitimately, when in fact they’re really just stealing money from taxpayers. We encourage anyone using, supplying, making or promoting ESS to report via our disclosure facility. Making a disclosure is not only the right thing to do it could also lead to a reduction in financial penalties.
ESS users will either have access to specialist software or will configure their Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) device in a specific way that allows them to consciously hide true sales and the resulting tax that is due. Sales processed through the till give the impression they have been recorded as normal, however the end of day report is deliberately manipulated behind the scenes to reduce reported takings.