Publishing the names of deliberate tax defaulters ensures everyone pays their fair share, creates a level playing field for honest people and businesses, and cracks down on the minority who seek to evade tax. It is part of HM Revenue and Customs’ approach to combating tax evasion and non-compliance.
HMRC’s Jennie Granger, Director General for Enforcement and Compliance, said:
While the majority of people pay the tax that is due, there is a small minority who try to evade their responsibilities.
Publishing taxpayers’ names is not something we do lightly. These are people who have cheated the Exchequer of more than £25,000 and so had an unfair advantage over those who pay their tax. Publishing their names lets the community know we are tackling this and encourages others to get back on track. It is always easier if people make a full and prompt disclosure and cooperate with HMRC.
Details of deliberate defaulters can be found on the HMRC website.
What is a deliberate defaulter?
A deliberate defaulter is a person who incurs a relevant penalty for one or more of the following:
- an inaccuracy in a return or document for a tax period beginning on or after 1 April 2010
- a failure to comply with certain obligations, such as the obligation to notify HMRC of a liability to tax
- a VAT or excise wrongdoing that occurred on or after 1 April 2010
When can they be named?
Deliberate defaulters can be named where, during an investigation into a period starting on or after 1 April 2010, the following are all applicable:
- it is established that the taxpayer is liable to a penalty for a deliberate default
- as a result of the deliberate default, more than £25,000 of additional tax would have been lost without HMRC’s intervention
- the taxpayer has failed to make a full disclosure to HMRC at the outset, so failing to receive the maximum possible reduction in penalties for full and early disclosure and assistance
There is a legislative requirement for HMRC to ensure it publishes names for only 12 months.
Details are published only once all appeal routes against the related tax and penalties are exhausted. Details must be published within 12 months of the penalty becoming final.