HMRC tackle tax evaders

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In the ongoing crackdown on tax evasion, HMRC has published a briefing explaining the range of measures it is taking to tackle individual tax evaders say Harris & Co accountants Northampton

As part of the government’s £1bn investment through to 2015 to increase tax compliance, HMRC is using a number of approaches to detect and deter evaders, including:

• setting up of over 60 regional taskforces aimed at high-risk sectors;

• using letters, adverts and social media to persuade specific trades and professions to settle their taxes voluntarily and taking swift action against those who do not;

• a publicity campaign to increase the perception that tax evaders will be caught;

• offshore agreements with foreign tax authorities to target affluent individuals who hide their money offshore;

• publicly naming deliberate defaulters;

• placing known tax evaders under close five-year scrutiny by HMRC’s monitoring serious defaulters team;

• issuing financial penalties for deliberate non-compliance;

• expanding specialist teams to tackle tax evasion by wealthy taxpayers; and

• analysing details of credit and debit card payments information from the UK’s merchant acquirers.

HMRC is also working closely with other law enforcement agencies and government departments in joint taskforces to tackle those who are breaking multiple rules to evade tax.

The next phase of HMRC’s three-year advertising campaign, which started this month, aims to reinforce the message that it is closing in on undeclared income.

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