HMRC Publish List of Tax Avoiders

In a truly ruthless effort to inflict disgrace and humiliation on those tax wrong doers, HMRC have recently published a rogues’ gallery of top tax cheats of 2012. In a classic ‘name and shame’ campaign, HM Revenue & Customs have strung up those guilty of tax avoidance (figuratively) by plastering their shameful mugs over the internet.

Tax avoidance can obviously come in many forms, from schemes and formulas carried out to dodge the revenue, to more professional related cases leading to HMRC involvement such as IR35 investigations and specialist enquiry. These pinpointed cases that have been released are but an example of the extent of tax evasion that exist.

As an example of the penalties of tax cheats, the tax office have also published these criminal’s sentences, the UK’s top 30 tax avoiders having a combined sentence of 155 years.

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke said: “The Government is committed to closing in on tax evaders. Collectively the 32 criminals have been sentenced to more than 150 years. Most people play by the rules and pay what they owe, but HMRC is cracking down on those who don’t.

"We hope that publishing these pictures will help get across that it always makes sense to declare all your income, and tax dodgers are simply storing up trouble for the future.”

Concerning contractors, the IR35 legislation leads to most cases relating to tax avoidance, and although other areas of tax could be at risk, it is HMRC involvement with IR35 that contractors try to steer clear of.

The Revenue’s top tax criminals of 2012 can be seen here on Flickr… Here ye be warned.

By:Sam Greenwell

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