The UK taxman has taken the unprecedented step of publishing photographs of convicted tax criminals who are on the run from HM Revenue & Customs. The FBI style “Most Wanted” posters of the so-called “tax fugitives” are being published today for the first time ever.
HMRC say they want to “hunt down the United Kingdom’s biggest tax fraudsters” and enlist “members of the public to assist in finding them”. The Most Wanted are tax criminals who have absconded after being charged with a crime or during trial. HMRC has worked with BBC’s Crimestoppers programme to gather information from the public: in a novel new bid to capture tax criminals. This is the first time that HMRC has published photographs and details of tax dodgers’ crimes.
David Gauke, the Exchequer Secretary, said: “The Government is absolutely committed to tackling tax evasion and fraud. These criminals have collectively cost the taxpayer over £765m and HMRC will pursue them relentlessly.”
It is very noticeable that the vast majority of the people named are not businesses that have committed tax evasion by under declaring their profits. Rather they are predominantly perpetrators of the so-called “Carousel Fraud”: a systematic attack on HMRC’s inadequate VAT repayment systems. These types of bogus repayment claims have been going on for at least 2 decades now: and HMRC have yet to seriously amend their own processes in order to deal with it. It has previously been estimated that carousel frauds are costing the UK well over £1 billion every year.
Lynam Tax Investigation Experts have a vast amount of practical experience in managing serious tax fraud investigations. If you are worried about a tax investigation we can advise you on the best course of action. If appropriate, we can help you manage any necessary disclosures. If you are facing criminal charges we can help you obtain first class legal representation, in order to obtain the optimum outcome for you, your business and your family.
*For a free, private, no obligation consultation, call Paul Lynam today on 0845 643 9997