Treasury launches hotline to combat tax fraud

The advice line is one of a series of measures introduced to tackle the multibillion pound black economy, recommended by Lord Grabiner QC in his report on the informal economy published in March.

Gordon Brown said: ‘Our message to those in the informal economy is clear: take the first step and find out how you can get your affairs in order. The advice line is completely confidential and you will receive straight forward advice about how to sort your affairs out.’The move to encourage people to sort out their taxes before December comes as the government is set to introduce tougher powers in the new year.

The Tax Faculty lambasted Grabiner’s report and its recommendations earlier this month in a letter to the Treasury. The Faculty said the report lacked in-depth research and that the proposed legislation, such as giving tax inspectors new powers of investigation, would infringed on people’s individuals rights.

But, Brown confirmed this week that most of the report’s proposals would be enforced in the new year. Some of the new measures include, a new statutory tax offence of evading income tax to be tried in a magistrates’ court, new powers of investigation to trace tax dodgers or benefits fraudsters via their phone numbers and a new requirement to notify the tax authorities as soon as businesses are set up.

The government is set to launch a 10-week advertising campaign to begin this Monday. The telephone number is 0845 608 6000 and is open from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and from 8am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday.

HM Treaury website

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