HMRC plans Olympics street tax grab


If you're an East End business using migrant or low-skilled labour, expect a surprise visit from HM Revenue & Customers. HMRC is planning a clampdown on businesses suspected of exploiting cheap or low-skilled workers as the Olympics approach.

Street sweep

HMRC says 'street sweep' blitzes of local businesses will be put into operation. It suspects that some small businesses will attempt to cheat it out of tax owed by claiming that some contractors are self-employed when they are not.

"The Olympics is a one off," a HMRC spokesperson told the Telegraph. "It's such a massive event and we want to make sure people don't get caught up in the excitement and fall foul of the tax rules."


Certainly there will be some businesses who are cutting corners. But the HMRC has 34 Olympic sites to cover. Rather more demanding than Wimbledon Fortnight.

And there's a lot of cash at stake. It's thought at least 50,000 contracts are involved in the Olympic and Paralympic Games worth up to £6bn.

Foreign labourers

We called the Olympic Delivery Authority for employment stats for the Olympic Park. They claim just 3% of the 4,993-strong (as of June 2011) Olympic contractor workforce are foreign labourers (see below breakdown), with just under 25% coming from the five host local boroughs.

An astonishingly low number given the number of foreign accents heard locally. And these figures will likely be massaged as some will be counted as local residents, even if they are put up in local hostels. And it seems HMRC agrees.

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