Revenue & Customs names and shames tax dodgers
Hairdresser and wine retailer on first lift of tax defaulters – but where are the big boys?
TAX DODGERS have been "named and shamed" for the first time by HM Revenue & Customs as part of a new crackdown. A wine retailer, a hairdresser, a coach operator and a knitwear manufacturer are included in the first list of defaulters, published yesterday.
Each of the nine companies listed had attempted to evade paying £25,000 or more in tax. No large businesses are included and all together the defaulters named owe less than £1m.
Treasury minister David Gauke told the BBC that the initiative, named Managing Deliberate Defaulters, will deter the public from dodging tax to avoid their names being published.
"The publication of these names sends a clear signal that cheating on tax is wrong and reassures people who pay their taxes - the vast majority - that there are consequences for those who refuse to tell HMRC about their full liability," he said.
But tax campaigner Richard Murphy said the list's focus on small businesses made him feel "distinctly uncomfortable" at a time when multi-national tax dodgers are such a big problem for the Exchequer.
Public Accounts Committee chairwoman Margaret Hodge said she hoped HRMC’s focus would turn to larger corporations. "Publicly naming and shaming does act as a deterrent, as we demonstrated over the Starbucks and Amazon hearing," she told the Daily Telegraph.
"But I hope they’re not just focusing on individuals and small businesses. Whilst they should pay all tax due, I think the general public does not want to see big global corporations getting away with it."
The government has allocated nearly £1bn to a crackdown on tax evasion with David Cameron saying this week that there were "moral questions that we have to answer about whether we want to encourage or allow" companies which do not pay their fair share.
The nine small businesses named and shamed by HMRC:
1. Southport Leisure PLC (club) – owed £29,111, fined £14,474
2. Joseph Tyrrell (hairdresser) – owed £29,868, fined £17,248
3. The Trade Beverage Company Ltd (wine company) – owed £447,904.00, fined £291,830.87
4. Mr Rafique Maroof Raja (grocer) – owed £27,889, fined £27,889
5. M r S Stewart (Pipework Specialist) – owed £28,536.00, fined £10,986.36
6. Mr David Alan Jay (property specialist) – owed £39,055.00, fined £27,338.50
7. Gatemain Contractors Ltd (builders) – owed £54,687.00, fined £32,538.77
8. Menemis Ltd (knitwear manufacturer) – owed £86,765.84, fined £86,765.84
9. Brian Clifford (coach operator) – owed over £ 87,918.00, fined £52,308.00