The new campaign will focus on individuals and businesses that are trading above the VAT registration threshold – currently a turnover of £73,000 – but who have not registered.
HMRC said it will target a number of sectors, including: construction, business services, hair and beauty, hotels and catering, retail distribution and recreational services.
People who have not yet registered have been told that should they come forward before the 30 September deadline and make a full disclosure, they will only face a penalty rate of 10% of the VAT they owe.
But those who let the deadline slip away have been told that they will face far heavier penalties and even criminal convictions.
"Most people do register for, and pay, the correct amount of VAT. This isn't about honest taxpayers, who have nothing to fear from any of our campaigns," said Mike Wells, HMRC's director of risk and intelligence.
"But we are committed to ensuring tax is paid so that the maximum is available for public services used by everyone.
"I therefore urge people who have not registered their businesses for VAT to get in touch with HMRC and get their tax affairs in order simply, and on the best terms available."
To take advantage of the initiative, people can complete a notification form at www.hmrc.gov.uk/ris/vat%20 or ring HMRC on 0845 600 5217, where a dedicated team is available to give information and advice.
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