HMRC to toughen up on tax fraud

THE TAXMAN is changing the way it deals with investigations into serious tax fraud, with a deal to avoid prosecution being offered to those that own up completely.

The move comes following the announcement that HMRC would be substantially increasing the number of prosecutions over the next four years during the government’s Comprehensive Spending Review last autumn, and aims to quash claims that existing HMRC powers “lacked teeth”.

In addition, the worst offenders will be taken to court in greater numbers.

Ann Bibby, tax partner at the Nottingham office of accountants and business advisers Mazars, told, said: “HMRC is at pains to stress that those who cooperate with this new process have nothing to fear. However, conversely, the contractual element [being introduced with taxpayers] also provides HMRC with the necessary tools to prosecute those cases involving incorrect denials of fraud or a potential lack of co-operation.”

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