HMRC published yesterday a list of the names and addresses of tax defaulters which it defines as:
...people who have received penalties either for:And where:
- deliberate errors in their tax returns
- deliberately failing to comply with their tax obligations
- HMRC have carried out an investigation and the person has been charged one or more penalties for deliberate defaults
- those penalties involve tax of more than £25,000
However, their information will not be published if the person earns the maximum reduction of the penalties by fully disclosing details of the defaults.
No everyone is happy about this though:
Richard Murphy, of Tax Research, said the list was ‘plain, straightforward hypocrisy’ which was simply ‘identifying plumbers and hairdressers when it should be naming global corporations’.
‘The people named are easy targets. There are clearly different categories of tax crime, with small businesses who put cash in HMRC’s pockets named and shamed; but banks, wealthy lawyers and global corporations offered anonymity.To be clear, these are people who have evaded tax and failed to come clean when investigated, with all avenues of appeal exhausted.
'It seems that only little people pay tax and only little people are named and shamed.’
Murphy also states on his blog:
Builders, coach operators and hairdressers feature, but no one, rather oddly,who looks as though they might go near transfer pricing or intellectual property, even though HMRC say they collect billions a year investigating such issues.Those on the list in question have lied about their tax position and there's a big difference between this and outcome of a disagreement over the tax treatment of a transaction falling in HMRC's favour.