UK's HMRC To Publicly Name Tax Evaders

Harriet Davies 4 March 2010

UK's HMRC To Publicly Name Tax Evaders

The UK tax authority, Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs, has further stepped up its campaign against tax evasion with a new law enabling it to publish the name, address and details of tax evaders.

Section 94 of the Finance Act will be effective from 1 April 2010 and authorises HMRC to publish taxpayers’ details where it is established that they have committed certain serious tax offences, notably the deliberate evasion of £25,000 (around $37,800) or more in taxes. 

It is planned that the names will be published on HMRC’s website, although because the measure will not be applied until April it is unlikely any names will appear before the first half of 2011. 

Taxpayers can avoid this treatment by admitting any wrongdoing immediately to their tax office, HMRC said in a statement.

“It may seem insensitive to 'name and shame' in this way, but it will have a bigger impact for some than a straight-forward financial penalty, demolishing the facade of respectability that they would have previously maintained,” said Stephen Camm, tax partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Yesterday HMRC also announced the relaxation of regulations in the 2009 Budget, which will enable high earners to transfer protected regular pension contributions to new schemes or providers without incurring the Special Annual Allowance tax charge.

In the Budget 2009, high earners (those earning over £130,000) only benefit from higher rate tax relief on pension contributions of up to £20,000, except where regular contributions (quarterly or more) were being paid before the 22 April 2009.

However, when a high earner wanted to transfer their pension scheme to a new arrangement or provider, this protection was lost. This has been corrected with the new announcement and pensions can be transferred with no loss of tax relief from the 19 March 2010, subject to certain requirements.


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