HMRC To 'Name And Shame' Tax Evaders
Friday, March 5, 2010
Taxpayers and companies who deliberately evade taxes in the UK face
having their name, address and details of their evasion made public
after new legislation was put into force on March 3.
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will be able to publish names and
details of individuals and companies who are caught dodging their taxes
from April 1, 2010, when section 94 of the Finance Act 2009 comes into
Stephen Timms, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said: “It is
only right that people pay their fair share of tax, which supports
vital public services. We know that law-abiding taxpayers will want to
see the results of HMRC’s investigations into tax cheats.
He added: “This new approach should make people think again about
trying to get away with tax fraud. As well as having to pay the tax,
interest on the tax, plus penalties of up to 100% of the tax lost, they
also now risk being identified publicly. “We are only targeting
deliberate tax evaders. So if you know that you have not paid the right
tax, and you want to avoid being named, contact HMRC right away to set
It is planned that names will be published on HMRC’s website.
Because this measure will only be applied for periods starting from
April 1, 2010, it is not expected that any names will be published
before the first half of 2011.
Taxpayers who may be named and shamed are those who have
deliberately evaded tax of more than GBP25,000 in total.
A similar scheme currently operates in the Republic of Ireland, and
the UK government hopes that 'naming and shaming' will act as an
additional deterrent in its enforcement arsenal to reduce tax evasion.
However, one tax expert warns that businesses may stand to lose substantially
more from having their name emblazoned on HMRC's defaulters' page
than would be the case if just a financial penalty was imposed.
"Being named publicly in this way could be likened to 'ASBOs for
tax evaders' causing a lot of damage to the individual's personal and
commercial reputation," commented Stephen Camm, tax partner at
"It may a seem insensitive to 'name and shame' in this way, but will
have a bigger impact for some than a straight-forward financial
penalty, demolishing the facade of respectability that they would have
previously maintained," he cautioned.