Naming and shaming tax evaders
Taxpayers now face the real possibility of being named and shamed if they are caught deliberately evading taxes. A new law which allows HMRC to publish the details of taxpayers who have been found to have deliberately evaded tax of more than £25,000 will take effect from 1 April 2010.
The law will apply to both individuals and companies who are caught evading taxes. HMRC plans to publish offenders’ names on its website. As the law only takes effect on 1 April 2010 it is not expected that any names will be posted online before early 2011.
Taxpayers who make a full disclosure to HMRC of any wrongdoings can avoid having their names published. This can also result in significantly reduced penalties.
This type of publicity is common in many other countries and it remains to be seen what effect if any this will have on the level of tax evasion in the UK.