Move Against Evaders Raises Ire in UK

February 25, 2013 Taxation in UK

HM Revenue and CustomsLONDON – UK tax authorities have taken a bold new step in the fight against tax evasion, choosing to “name and shame” individuals and businesses who willingly neglect to pay their taxes.

The HM Revenue and Customs are currently receiving significant criticism from the national media and members of the public over a controversial new step the tax authority took recently in its fight against the occurrence of tax evasion, as for the first time ever the HMRC has chosen to openly publish the names and details of businesses and individuals which have actively and deliberately evaded their tax obligations.

The first list released by the HMRC was made available late last week and contained the names and addresses of 4 businesses and 5 individuals, along with details on the amount of taxes which they chose not to pay.

The information will only be made public for 12 months, but details of fresh cases of tax evasion will be released by the HMRC on a regular basis.

The HMRC’s move has already been called unprecedented and allegations have arisen that the decision to publicly name the tax evaders is a breach of their rights.

Further criticism has also been leveled at the HMRC’s decision to publish the list, with some commentators claiming that the HMRC should not be concentrating on a small number of relatively minor offenders, but should be aiming its sights at large scale multinational tax evaders.

The tax authority has already responded to the claims, saying that “…we have been given the power to publish these names to deter UK taxpayers from deliberately defaulting on their tax obligations. The publication of these names sends a clear signal that cheating on tax is wrong”.

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