Yesterday we reported on plans by the government to tackle tax evaders and tax avoiders in equal measure. Tax experts are warning that the result of this crackdown will be innocent individuals and businesses finding themselves the subject of lengthy HMRC investigations. The government are spending £900 million in a bid to recoup taxes which they feel have been illegally evaded or avoided through clever accountancy or use of offshore schemes.
Accountancy firm Hurst’s tax partner, Rachel Murphy, spoke to Shout 99 stating: “Everyone knows taxes are largely a given but there are many legitimate ways they can be managed to lessen the burden. The risk is that the Treasury is increasingly merging the two premises of avoidance of tax – which is legitimate – and evasion, which is illegal, couching it in terms of what is ‘acceptable avoidance’ and ‘unacceptable avoidance’.
She continued: “However, with the economic situation as it is, we have to be aware of the political sensitivities and the pressure the Treasury are under to raise revenues. Individuals and businesses need to be aware of this and the increasing scrutiny their tax affairs will be under.
Ms Murphy concluded: “If HMRC does start going through the affairs of business or individuals, it’ll take time and energy to answer their queries. If you do get a letter or a call, don’t ignore it – speak to your tax advisor about how to deal with it.”

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