Naming and Shaming of Tax fraudsters: 19 September 2018

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs has published the September 2018 list of Deliberate Tax Defaulters: the quarterly ritual humiliation of naming and shaming which HMRC reserve for people who have deliberately underdeclared their tax and did not make voluntary disclosures or did not cooperate with HMRC’s Tax Enquiry.

The taxman is allowed to publish details of people who HMRC have investigated and charged penalties: either for deliberately failing to notify a tax liability or for deliberate errors in their tax returns. HMRC only publish details where the understated tax was greater than £25,000 and the taxpayer did not make a voluntary disclosure prior to a tax investigation, or fully and immediately confess once an investigation commenced.

The latest so-called “naughty list” of Deliberate Tax Defaulters was published online on 19 September. It includes 135 people and businesses overall. It includes the usual varied mixtures of businesses including: an architect, builders, property developers, buy to let landlords, a doctor, a quantity surveyor, an ophthalmic surgeon, and a large number of Chinese online retailers. As usual, there are a large number of catering businesses. This is not surprising given the resources HMRC have ploughed into the so-called Restaurant Taskforce, and the success that team has had. One example of that is that within 200 metres four different pubs and restaurants in Nottingham city centre have all been investigated and included on the list. Sadly, but not untypically, each of those businesses has now closed. The high penalties charged in a tax investigation where people are not appropriately represented, or do not sufficiently cooperate, are typically sufficient to ensure the failure of an otherwise thriving business.

What does this mean for me?
Anyone who is undergoing a tax investigation or compliance check, or has any tax problems to disclose, potentially risks being named and shamed. However, where people are properly represented by experienced professionals then it should be wholly exceptional to end up on this list. A good quality tax investigations specialist will advise their clients in a way that will usually preclude them from being named and shamed in this way. Proper representation will typically bring the tax enquiry to a quicker end, and with much lower penalties.

How can Lynam Tax Investigation Specialists Help Me?
If you are undergoing a tax enquiry, or have any tax irregularities to disclose, then you should consult a specialist. Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts have a huge amount of experience in dealing with voluntary disclosures and tax investigations. We will be able to assist you in obtaining the optimum outcome, including avoiding being named and shamed.

*For a free, private, no obligation consultation, call Paul Lynam today on 0845 643 9997

or Andrew Nutbrown on 07718 778710