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HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) know that 'cash trades' are often susceptible to a suppression of takings and regularly target cash traders for tax enquiries.
Where HMRC's suspicions are confirmed and the evasion of tax is significant, a criminal prosecution may well follow.
Recently, the owner of a Leicestershire takeaway was given a 28-month prison sentence after he was found guilty of evading more than £137,000 in Income Tax and £27,000 in VAT over a period of seven years.
In addition to the prison sentence, he has been ordered to repay his tax debt. As the tax evaded is strictly the proceeds of crime, he has been ordered to make the repayment within three months or face a further 30 months in prison.
Among the techniques regularly used by HMRC in such investigations are: