Tax Investigation Specialists

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HMRC to name and shame Tax Evaders

HMRC office building

From 1 April 2010, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), is able to “name and shame” serious tax evaders on their website. HMRC hope that 'naming and shaming' will act as an additional deterrent to reduce tax evasion.

Where HMRC discover a taxpayer has “deliberately” underpaid tax of over £25,000, and they have not fully cooperated with their enquiries, they will publicise the details of the tax evader. The details to be published are the taxpayers name, addresses, trade/profession, the amount of tax evaded, the interest charged, the penalties levied and the time period of the omissions.

Interesting cases are likely to be picked up and publicised by the national and regional press and could result in serious reputational issues for those companies, businesses, partnerships, trustees and individuals who are caught. WLH Tax suspects that publication is likely to affect employability, credit rating and business activities.

HMRC have made it clear that the names of those who have merely made an innocent mistake or failed to take reasonable care in assessing the correct amount of tax due (i.e. have been negligent) will not be published.

All taxpayers will be able to escape publication if they make a full disclosure to HMRC, thereby encouraging those who are caught to make a full disclosure.

HMRC will publish a quarterly list on their website, and the names will appear on the website for a period of 12 months.