Defaulters ‘named and shamed’

The names of deliberate tax defaulters have been published on HM Revenue & Customs’ (HMRC) website for the first time.

The list of nine names, released on 21 February, also includes penalties imposed for their defaults and the amount of tax on which those penalties are based. Penalties range from £2,336 to £291,830 and the amounts of tax due from £3,337 to £447,904.

HMRC has been given the power to publish the names of tax defaulters as part of its campaign against tax evasion and non-compliance and will update the list on its website each quarter.

Non-compliant taxpayers who make a full disclosure at the start of an investigation will not have their details published.

David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said: “The publication of these names sends a clear signal that cheating on tax is wrong and reassures people who pay their taxes – the vast majority – that there are consequences for those who refuse to tell HMRC about their full liability.

“It also encourages defaulters to make a full and prompt disclosure and cooperate with HMRC to avoid being named.”

Deliberate defaulters can be named where they are being investigated on matters arising on or after 1 April 2010 and it is found they are liable for a penalty and, as a result of the default, more than £25,000 of additional tax would have been lost without HMRC’s intervention.
Details are published only once all appeal routes against the related tax and penalties are exhausted. Details must be published within 12 months of the penalty becoming final and HMRC must only publish names for 12 months.

Link: Information on tax defaulters