HMRC Tip-Offs: Be Careful Who You Trust

So who can you trust when discussing your business affairs? HMRC have stated that they have more than 250 people tipping them off on suspected tax evaders. Largely by ex-partners, colleagues, neighbours etc. The majority being scorned ex-wives and husbands or former colleagues.

HMRC paid out a record, totalling over £400,000 last year as a reward for fellow taxpayers tipping off tax avoiders.

Having discussed this with an ex tax inspector, he said the vast majority of people contacting HMRC to tip somebody off would start the conversation “my best friend……..”. This may not be what most would describe as a loyal friend, though it is a reality.

People down the pub after a few drinks, may boast that they do cash jobs and do not declare the income, maybe too loudly as we all do after a drink, though your acquaintances or friends of friends are also listening and possibly ready to get on the phone to HMRC.

Maybe out of pure jealousy, an acquaintance may tip you off as you appear to be enjoying luxuries that they aren’t, and they may deem that to be because you are not being entirely honest.

Either way, from the outset, as it is clear that you, in some cases cannot trust those closest to you or certainly not a scorned ex-partner not to grass you up to the tax authorities, you should be honest and ensure you are paying the right amount of tax.

By:Jane Hailstone

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