North West businesses warned over HMRC name and shame plan

A leading tax accountant from the North West has warned local businesses and individuals to take extra care when calculating the amount of tax they owe, as HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) introduces measures to punish deliberate tax evaders.

A new section of the 2009 Finance Act has been introduced allowing HMRC the power to publish the names and addresses of taxpayers who are penalised for deliberate defaults leading to a loss of tax of more than £25,000.

This new measure applies to periods on or after April 1, 2010 and it is expected that the first business details will appear from April 1, 2011.

In addition to businesses names and addresses, the sector, amount of tax, interest, penalties and the time period details will also be disclosed.

It is planned that this information will be published on HMRC's website in the form of a quarterly list which will remain for 12 months.

Tim Adcock, tax partner at Mitchell Charlesworth, the North West based Chartered Accountants and business advisors, said: "HMRC has taken this step to deter deliberate tax defaulters, reassure those who do not pay the right tax; and encourage those who do not, to come forward and bring their tax affairs up to date.

"Businesses need to be aware of the risk as they are in danger of not only losing out financially but also damaging the individual's personal and commercial reputation. It is imperative that they act now and ensure tax returns are dealt with correctly."
Only businesses and individuals who are penalised for deliberate defaults will have their names and details published, not those penalised for having failed to take reasonable care, as HMRC aim to clamp down on those who deliberately tax evade.

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