Friday, 22 February 2013

Naming and shaming

HMRC published yesterday a list of the names and addresses of tax defaulters which it defines as:
...people who have received penalties either for:
  • deliberate errors in their tax returns
  • deliberately failing to comply with their tax obligations
 And where:
  • 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However, their information will not be published if the person earns the maximum reduction of the penalties by fully disclosing details of the defaults.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.

'It seems that only little people pay tax and only little people are named and shamed.’
To be clear, these are people who have evaded tax and failed to come clean when investigated, with all avenues of appeal exhausted.

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.


  1. It is nonsense. What have these people done? Nothing except commit tax evasion and being the subject of a civil case by HMRC rather than the criminal prosecution which they could easily have been.

    By allowing a civil case, these individuals have saved the Crown Prosecution Service months of work trying to prove the intent behind a fraud case.

    These little people are heroes. Other than the fact that they have deliberately deprived the country of money that it desperately needs.

    But, my point is that multinationals, who are not committing fraud in any way, but still acting alegally, have more money. If we go after them instead, we wouldn't have to go after these petty fraudsters.

    That is undeniable.

    So, logically, if we stop going after these petty fraudsters we will be get the money from the multinationals.

    Yours faithfully

    Murphy J Richards

    1. Murphy,

      Your comments informed a reawakening of my enthusiasm for the taxation cause.

      Then my mum told me to read it again and nw I’m not so sure.

      There should be a word for that.

      Anarchy forever