Following on from the speech delivered by the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Stephen Timms, earlier this week, HMRC have unveiled a new Internet service which can be used to blow the whistle on tax evaders. The website – www.hmrc.gov.uk/tax-evasion – will enable members of the public to raise any concerns regarding the non-payment of taxes directly with HMRC. They have recently introduced a new penalty system that allows them to charge 100% penalties to individuals or businesses found to be evading tax.
Timms said: “We are committed to ensuring the tax system operates fairly and efficiently, and encourage anyone to share their information on activities they think may be unlawful. Reporting your concerns online is quick and easy. By doing so you will be helping us to catch people who are unfairly competing with honest businesses and denying funding for essential public services. Being able to report potential tax evasion online is just the latest step in demonstrating that for tax cheats the game is up. Information provided by the public is important and HMRC takes all allegations seriously.”
On their website, HMRC commented: “Clamping down on those who try to cheat the system through evading taxes is a key priority for HMRC and since 2005 over £42 million has been recovered as a result of information received directly from members of the public through the taxman’s confidential hotlines. The money is put back into the system to fund vital public services.”