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U.K. Begins Tax-Evasion Probe With Focus on Lawyers, Hair Salons

Sept. 18 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. began a crackdown on tax evasion, including among London lawyers, which it expects to bring in 19.5 million pounds ($32 million).

HM Revenue & Customs task forces starting today will focus on five “high risk” business areas in an effort to flush out tax evaders, the authority said in a press release. The Scottish motor trade and retail businesses in four U.K. regions are being targeted in the latest project, the agency said.

“This is not an empty threat -- HMRC can and will track you down if you choose to break the rules,” said Mike Eland, the agency’s enforcement and compliance chief.

The task forces were introduced following a 917 million-pound government investment that began in 2011 to take on tax evasion, avoidance and fraud. The authority said it intends to raise 7 billion pounds each year by 2015 from the project.

Restaurants in southeast England and hair and beauty salons in the northeast of the country are also under scrutiny.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeremy Hodges in London at jhodges17@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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