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Is naming and shaming tax defaulters an effective tax evasion deterrent?

24 August 2018

Being ‘named and shamed’ as a tax evader presents a serious reputational and financial risk. But do taxpayers see this as a deterrent? And do they know the risks?

Increased HMRC focus on offshore property for developers

04 April 2018

Are your clients at risk of an investigation by the Offshore Property Developers Task Force (OPDTF)?

HMRC's targeting of EIS investors could damage the growth of the UK economy

09 February 2018

HMRC appears concerned about perceived abuse of the enterprise investment scheme (EIS) tax reliefs available to individuals. It is undertaking a data-mining programme, using profiling, to open detailed formal tax enquiries into the personal tax affairs of investors, principally to gather data.

HMRC urgently needs to clarify penalty policy

11 January 2018

HMRC has recently revised its penalty factsheet which appears to impose new penalty arrangements for those wishing to correct historic tax errors. There is an urgent need for HMRC to clarify exactly what the policy now is and to confirm its legal basis.

When is a van not a van? When it’s a car

13 September 2017

A recent First Tier Tax Tribunal decision leaves many employees facing heavy tax bills on company cars that they thought were vans. Employers will need to consider settling the bills on their behalf to avoid having disgruntled employees. The Tribunal gave some useful guidelines on the distinction between a van and a car, but the position remains hopelessly unclear, especially with misleading HMRC guidance.

Catching the tax dodgers

16 August 2017

This week, the nation had the chance to follow HMRC cracking down on tax evaders in a Channel 4 documentary, but was this a fair representation of current enforcement or an out-of-date representation of HMRC’s modern investigation methods?

Is HMRC keeping up with tax evaders?

27 June 2017

At the start of the year tax evasion and avoidance featured in the news agenda on a regular basis. Despite fewer headlines, tackling this issue still remains an important part of the UK government’s tax agenda, but is HMRC ahead of the game or struggling to keep pace?

MTD penalty regime must be simple, fair and effective

21 June 2017

HMRC last week closed a consultation which sets out its proposals for new sanctions for the late submission of returns and late payment of tax under the forthcoming Making Tax Digital (MTD) regime. A number of options are being considered but fundamentally, HMRC must ensure that the new regime acts as an effective deterrent, is simple and fair to all taxpayers.

Computers can't do everything

16 May 2017

Most commentators would accept that if a tax return is submitted late then – unless there is a genuine reasonable excuse – HMRC should quite rightly be able to impose a penalty. However, what happens if a computer makes this decision?

Why are HMRC being so coy about the data they hold on taxpayers?

05 April 2017

An OECD report this week highlighted the ways in which tax jurisdictions around the world are using technology to prevent, identify and tackle those perceived to be cheating the system. HMRC uses its own supercomputer system called Connect to find out about taxpayers’ financial affairs but is strangely coy about revealing how much it knows.

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