Inland Revenue has extended its crackdown on cash payments to the hospitality industry, and is gearing up to host a string of unannounced visits to businesses.

As part of renewed efforts to dissolve New Zealand’s “hidden economy”, estimated to be worth close to $1 billion, the tax department is targeting cafes, restaurants, bars and takeaway operators, bakeries and liquor stores who under-report cash sales and pay staff under the table.

In recent years, IRD has focused its efforts largely on the trades and construction sectors, where cash-in-hand jobs are more common.

Although the IRD will not put a figure on



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