Businesses in the rag trade across the West Midlands are being targeted in the latest of HMRC’s sector-specific taskforces, according to tax investigation experts.

HMRC has announced that it will be running an intensive project in the coming months to recover a projected amount of £9 million of unpaid tax from traders who do not pay the right amount of tax.

It is specifically targeting the rag trade in the Midlands, to include manufacturing, wholesaling – which will include import/export – retailing, and textile recycling.

Heather Taylor of Grant Thornton’s tax investigations team in Birmingham said: “This project will cover a lot of businesses, will take in the highly regarded garment and textile businesses centred on Birmingham. HMRC will send in teams of highly trained investigators to visit businesses and examine their records and tax compliance across all taxes, including Income Tax, Corporation Tax, VAT and PAYE. They will also be likely to check out the employment status of workers in those businesses which are targeted.

“Any traders who have not registered with HMRC or who have concerns that they may have understated the profits which they have declared should seek specialist advice and consider making a disclosure to HMRC to reduce the chance of a potential prosecution and to bring down the amount of any penalties which may be due.”