New legislation has come into force which will allow HMRC to publicise the names and details of individuals and companies who evade tax.
This will be effective from 1st April 2010.
Commenting on this new legislation. Financial secretary to the Treasury, Stephen Timms 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. 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 per cent of the tax lost, they also now risk being identified publicly.”
The new legislation follows on from the New Disclosure Opportunity which gave taxpayers a deadline of 4th January to inform HMRC that they were planning to disclose unpaid taxes in exchange for a reduced penalty as long as HMRC had not already requested such a disclosure. The reduced penalty stood at 10 per cent as opposed to the 100 per cent if investigated by HMRC and found to have owed taxes. It is believed that this disclosure opportunity was taken up by around 10,000 people.
Now HMRC are planning to investigate those who have not made disclosure and who they believe to owe taxes. This will commence on 12th March with information which has been provided to HMRC from over 300 banks.

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