Deliberate tax defaulters
HMRC has published its seventh list of deliberate tax defaulters. The list includes fourteen individuals, businesses and companies and lists the amounts on which penalties are due and the amount of penalties charged. One of the companies listed, a Manchester based food and beverage business had to pay penalties of over £29m.
A deliberate defaulter is a person who incurs a relevant penalty for one of the following:
- An inaccuracy in a return or document for a tax period beginning on or after 1 April 2010.
- A failure to comply with certain obligations, such as the obligation to notify HMRC of a liability to tax.
- A VAT or excise wrongdoing that occurred on or after 1 April 2010.
The measure affects the following groups of taxpayers:
- Taxpayers (individuals, businesses and companies) who are penalised for deliberately understating tax due, or overstating claims or losses, of more than £25,000.
- Taxpayers who are penalised for deliberately failing to notify HMRC when required to do so, leading to a loss of tax of more than £25,000.
- Taxpayers who are penalised for deliberately committing certain VAT and excise wrongdoings, leading to a loss of tax of more than £25,000.
HMRC’s Jennie Granger, Director General for Enforcement and Compliance, said:
‘We urge people to come forward, so we can help them get back on track. It is always easier if people make a full and prompt disclosure and co-operate with HMRC. If they do this, they will avoid being named.’
Taxpayers who make unprompted disclosures or a satisfactory fully prompted disclosure are not affected by these rules. Obviously, the threat of being named and shamed is not a sufficient deterrent for every taxpayer, but for many people that have outstanding issues this may offer enough encouragement to come forward.