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Govt naming and shaming of tax evaders open to abuse, says PKF

PKF Accountants & business advisers says the Government’s plans to publish names of serious tax defaulters could force legitimate taxpayers to accept HM Revenue and Custom’s arguments for fear of appearing on the list.

Under the new laws announced in the Budget report, HMRC will be able to publish the names of companies and individuals who have deliberately understated more than £25,000 of tax.

The details published will include the individuals and tax figures as well as the addresses and the business sector they are attached to.

PKF tax investigations partner John Cassidy is concerned that this could allow for an element of vigilantism and adversely affect business contacts leading to a fall in profits and tax.

He says: “I am concerned that it will be used by enquiring tax inspectors to encourage taxpayers to accept HMRC’s arguments under the fear of appearing on the list if they do not. If this is to be avoided, the bar will need to be set very high to ensure that only the most serious of tax offenders are included.”


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