Budget 09: Finance Bill to introduce ‘naming and shaming’ tax campaign

The government is aiming to save £80m by 2012 through a “naming and shaming”
campaign against taxpayers penalised for deliberate defaults that cost HM
Revenue at least £25,000.

Legislation is being introduced in the Finance Bill 2009 enabling HM Revenue
to publish a quarterly list of names and details of individuals and companies
penalised for deliberate defaults leading to a loss of tax of more than £25,000.
Names will be published within one year of the penalty becoming final and
removed from publication one year later. Names will not be published of those
who make a full unprompted disclosure or a full prompted disclosure within the
required time.

The initiative is designed to ensure consistency of treatment for tax fraud
whether investigated through civil or criminal proceedings. It will capture
taxpayers penalised for deliberately understating tax due, or overstating claims
or losses; those penalised for deliberately failing to notify HM Revenue when
required; and those penalised for deliberately committing certain VAT and excise
wrongdoings. Only those penalised for deliberate defaults or deliberate and
concealed defaults will have their names and details published, not those who
are penalised for having failed to take reasonable care. The measure is not
effective for tax credits.

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