HMRC Warning on Olympics Labour

Thursday, December 22, 2011 Print Email

HM Revenue & Customs is warning employers who plan to take on more staff for the Olympic and Paralympic Games next year to check their labour providers in a bid to ensure that gangmasters are paying VAT and other taxes correctly.

Demand for extra staff in areas such as catering, food processing, construction, hotels, leisure and security at the 33 Olympic Paralympic Games venues is set to grow, and HMRC says there is a risk that employers could unknowingly hire workers who are in the UK illegally or are earning below the national minimum wage.

Marie-Claire Uhart, HMRC director of specialist investigations, said: ‘HMRC has found problems with fraud and unpaid taxes in the labour provider field and this might increase as companies employ more casual labour for the Games. HMRC routinely tackles attempts to defraud the Exchequer, including the use of false invoices and hijacked VAT registrations.’

HMRC proposes a list of checks that businesses should follow when hiring seasonal staff, including whether the labour provider needs or has a Gangmaster Licensing Authority (GLA) licence, the history of the business, the levels of fees and methods of payment, whether VAT registration is required and whether the business has the correct insurance cover.

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