Business

Strippers told to reveal all about tax to HMRC

Pole dancer Image copyright Getty Images

Strippers, online escort agencies and adult club owners have been told to reveal all when it comes to their tax affairs.

The industry is being targeted in a UK-wide campaign by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) aimed at recouping unpaid tax.

Officials say a big increase in online escort agencies has helped create an industry worth £5bn.

The UK tax authority said many of these businesses were paying the tax they owed but others hid from payments.

The HMRC taskforce will investigate both traders and entertainers, some earning thousands of pounds a day, who do not register for VAT, income tax and PAYE.

"The people being targeted by this taskforce have no intention of playing by the rules, and we won't tolerate this," said Jim Stevenson, head of HMRC taskforces.

"No industry is safe where tax evasion is concerned - we won't stop tracking people down and taking back what they owe."

'Lavish'

Image caption Janine Adeleke, who ran an escort agency, was jailed

The campaign follows a case in November in which a 43-year-old woman, who ran an escort agency, was jailed for three years after fraudulently claiming £118,000 in benefits and avoiding paying £230,772 in income tax and national insurance.

Janine Adeleke ran the business from her home in Bexhill-On-Sea, in East Sussex. During her trial at Canterbury Crown Court, the jury heard Adeleke lived in a house with eight bedrooms and sent her five children to private school.

At the trial, HMRC described her lifestyle as "lavish".

HMRC said that more than 140 taskforces have been launched since 2011 - targeting industries ranging from dentists to lawyers - which have collected more than £404m in unpaid tax.

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