HMRC ramps up tax avoidance crackdown programme
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has referred 30 per cent more individuals and businesses who it thinks have not paid all the taxes they owe, to its specialist unit for ‘serious defaulters’, signalling a toughening up of its approach to tax avoidance, reports Citywire.
According to figures obtained by accountancy Baker Tilly via a Freedom of Information request, HMRC referred 6,051 wayward taxpayers to ‘managing serious defaulters’ programme during the year to 5 April, 30 per cent higher than the 4,624 during the previous year. It is all so an sharp increase from the 1,094 referred over 2012-13.
Mike Down, head of tax investigations at Baker Till said: ‘The increase in the numbers of people being referred to the managing serious defaulters programme signals that HMRC is getting much tougher on those who actively seek to sidestep their tax responsibilities.
‘The programme is equivalent to a school detention where an errant taxpayer’s behaviour will be under close scrutiny by the tax man. HMRC has significant monitoring powers and those individuals and businesses referred into the programme can find the experience extremely uncomfortable and onerous.’