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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/publishing-details-of-deliberate-tax-defaulters-pddd/details-included-in-the-list-of-deliberate-tax-defaulters
1. Details included in the list of deliberate tax defaulters
The list include details of taxpayers who’ve incurred a penalty because they’ve either:
- deliberately provided one or more inaccurate documents to HMRC
- deliberately failed to comply with an HMRC obligation
- committed a VAT or excise wrongdoing
These deliberate acts have resulted in HMRC establishing an additional amount of tax of more than £25,000. HMRC will only publish the details where the taxpayer hasn’t made a full and immediate disclosure when HMRC started to investigate or prior to any investigation.
The list relates to deliberate defaulters who’ve been dealt with using civil proceedings. It doesn’t contain convicted tax criminals, who will have been found guilty of a criminal offence in open court and therefore the verdict and sentence is a matter of public record. In many cases where tax criminals have been successfully prosecuted, HMRC releases details of the case and those convicted in a press release.
Where the publication criteria have been met, the law allows HMRC to publish some or all of the following:
- the name of the person who incurs the penalty including any trading name, previous name or pseudonym
- the person’s address (or registered office, in the case of a company)
- the nature of any business carried on by the person
- the amount of the qualifying relevant penalty or penalties
- the qualifying potential lost revenue (PLR) in relation to the qualifying relevant penalty, or the total of the qualifying PLR for all of the qualifying relevant penalties
- the periods when the inaccuracy, failure or wrongdoing that gave rise to the qualifying relevant penalty or penalties occurred
- any other details that HMRC considers necessary in order to make the person’s identity clear
The information for each entry will vary. The law only allows HMRC to publish the minimum amount of information required to provide a unique identification for the taxpayer. This will vary from case to case.
2. Dates and time periods
The format for time periods will vary. In some cases the deliberate defaults relate to a specific period of time - this varies from tax to tax. In other cases it’s a specific act on a specific day that constitutes the deliberate default and it is this date we publish.
The address is the one associated with the published person at the time of the default. The address may refer to a business address or a home address. Where the default relates to a business, we’ll normally publish the address from which the business is and/or was operated, rather than the home address. We’ll publish home addresses (including registered offices for companies) where the default(s) relates to non-business taxes or where publishing a business address wouldn’t clearly identify the taxpayer.
The published address may refer to a business address or a home address and is the one associated with the published person at the time of default. The person may have become insolvent or may no longer be trading, there may now be an unrelated business trading from the address which has no connection to the published business. Including ‘formerly’ in the address line is to clarify that the published person is no longer trading from that address.
4. Details of the type of default
Legally, HMRC cannot explain the precise nature of the default, other than what is published within this list. There are strict rules about the information HMRC’s allowed to disclose.
The list doesn’t necessarily represent the full default of the taxpayer. HMRC doesn’t publish information about any penalties where the taxpayer has provided a full and immediate disclosure when HMRC starts to investigate, or prior to any investigation. Also, the information published here only includes information about one investigation. It doesn’t include any information about other defaults in the past. Nor does it include details of any penalties which have been incurred due to the person’s careless, rather than deliberate, behaviour.
5. When the list is published, and for how long
A defaulter’s details will be held on GOV.UK for a maximum of 12 months from the date they’re first published.
To ensure that new information is published promptly and that no information is published for longer than 12 months, HMRC will review the list on a regular basis. Usually this will mean that any changes will be made on a quarterly basis.
HMRC can only publish details about defaults that have occurred on or after 1 April 2010, or for tax periods starting on or after 1 April 2010.
6. How to avoid having your details published
Please contact HMRC immediately. Anyone involved in a compliance check has the opportunity to disclose errors to HMRC from the outset. Making an early disclosure and cooperating with the check to ensure it is resolved promptly helps to reduce the level of any penalty and the risk of publication.
You’ll be able to put your point of view as part of this process and there is a right of appeal to an independent tribunal against the tax and penalty decisions that determine whether or not your details will be published.
If you wait until HMRC investigates you, and don’t provide all the information we need right at the start of the investigation, you run the risk of having your details published.