LONDON — The U.K.'s tax and customs authority on Friday announced that it has set up its first task force targeting the adult entertainment sector.
The HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said it was targeting strippers, online escorts and adult club owners, among others, in a move to find unreported revenue.
Specifically the HMRC cited a big increase in online escort agencies, which it says has helped create an industry worth £5 billion in the U.K.
Jim Stevenson, head of HMRC task forces, in a statement said that, “large numbers of people working in the [adult entertainment] industry are paying the tax they owe and they don’t have anything to worry about. The people being targeted by this task force have no intention of playing by the rules, and we won’t tolerate this.”
“No industry is safe where tax evasion is concerned — we won’t stop tracking people down and taking back what they owe,” Stevens stated.
Since 2011, the HMRC has set up more than 140 various task forces that have collected more than £404 million.
The HMRC said that the adult industry task force is expected to bring in £2.5 million. The new group will be tasked to follow up leads from new sources of data being collected and analyzed by the HMRC.
The HMRC recently obtained access to credit and debit card payments made to all U.K. businesses, helping it track down hidden-economy commerce, including the marketing of adult entertainment services over the Internet, according to the Financial Times.