HMRC Is Shite

HMRC Is Shite
Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.

Friday, 2 November 2012

HMRC Cuts A Deal With Tax Evaders

It is interesting to see that, despite the fact that tax evasion is illegal and despite the vocal political posturing against avoidance, HMRC have cut a deal with a large swathe of tax evaders.

The Times reports that only one person on the "Lagarde List" of 6,000 tax evaders has been convicted of serious fraud, and only 500 have been investigated on suspicion of fraud.

A senior HMRC official told The Times:
The courts would not thank HMRC for taking zillions of prosecutions into them, so we have a selective prosecution policy. We want to use prosecution as a deterrent.
Zillions eh?

A tad exaggerated n'est pas?

I can see the pragmatic benefits to the Treasury of "cutting a deal". However, it does send a rather confusing message to those who have criminal intentions.

There is also the question of dual standards, as Pinsent Masons director Ray McCann told The Times:
It is those at the lower end of the social scale who go to prison. There is no immunity offer for benefit cheats.

The Revenue made a policy decision…Where there was an HSBC account, they would automatically go to contractual disclosure facility. This means immunity from prosecution is guaranteed if you own up to tax evasion, whether it be a small amount or billions.
It's a funny old world!

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. So, if it's a crime, no matter how serious, as long as it was an HSBC a/c, that's your get out of jail free card?
    What on earth is going on behind closed doors if this is the size of the problem the public is being made aware of?
    There is a terrible smell to this and it smacks of undue influence from more than one area.
    Time for Gandalf to sort out the wicked Orcs and Sauruman.

  2. Is anyone able to explain how this decision fits in with HMRC's policy of publishing details of deliberate tax defaulters?

  3. Ask the person in charge to explain.

    It would be very interesting to see the names on this list but no chance Amigo, no chance.

    You need to have a close look at what was obtained, where was it actually obtained, why was it obtained, who did it relate to and when did HMG/HMT/HMRC all agree.

    A tax system has to be transparent to be ethical and have the confidence of the majority. We all accept the need for taxes but this is taking the urine somewhat, especially following on from everything else financial that has occurred of late.

    There is a danger of a backlash if this sort of thing continues with a free for all approach if we are not carefull.

    I would advocate bringing some commonsense to the fore and levelling the playing field.

    I don't care how much was evaded, its the priciple wot counts!