Tax Dodgers exposed

First Tax Dodgers List Posted on February 22, 2013 by admin HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has published its first list of tax dodgers, which highlights “deliberate defaulters” found during the department’s investigations into their affairs from April 2010. This list features nine names – including a hairdresser, a coach operator and a knitwear manufacturer – each of whom had not paid more than £25,000 of tax. Individuals and businesses named on the list received fines from a few thousand pounds upwards.

Cheshire-based wine retailer, The Trade Beverage Company Ltd, was fined £291,830, while a penalty of more than £17,000 was imposed on hairdresser Joseph Tyrrell for dodging tax between October and December 2010. According to the government, the publication of the names sends a clear signal that cheating on tax is wrong, and reassures the vast majority of people who pay their taxes that there are consequences for those who refuse to tell HMRC about their full liability.

The department also hopes that publishing the list will encourage defaulters to make a full and prompt disclosure and cooperate with HMRC to avoid being named. However, with the total tax owed by those on the list amounting to less than £1m, Treasury Minister David Gauke was asked why no large corporations were included on the list.  Mr Gauke replied that HMRC was taking action to close legal loopholes, as well as to expose those promoting aggressive tax avoidance schemes. Chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, Margaret Hodge called the publication of the list an “amazing” step forward. “Publicly naming and shaming does act as a deterrent, as we demonstrated over the Starbucks and Amazon hearing,” she added. However, she also hoped that HMRC would not just focus on individuals and small businesses, as the general public does not want to see big global corporations “getting away with it”.