Most tax scams not caught through DOTAS – HMRC

THE MAJORITY of tax-dodging arrangements are not caught by the taxman through the disclosure of tax avoidance schemes (DOTAS), according to HM Revenue & Customs’ director-general.

HMRC director-general Jim Harra told MPs more than half of avoidance arrangements are not detected by its own dedicated preventative regime.

He said: “46% of avoidance is caught by the disclosure regime and has to be paid to us.”

The taxman also has alternative methods of finding out about tax avoidance, including market intelligence, he said.

The Public Accounts Committee, chaired by Labour MP Margaret Hodge (pictured), has been especially critical of HMRC’s performance in its battle against avoidance.

Yesterday, she said: “They [tax avoidance scheme providers] run rings round [HMRC]. I was surprised at how appallingly bad the record [in tackling avoidance schemes] was.

“It really shook me that there have only been 11 cases taken to tribunal for non-disclosure since 2004. It’s just gob-smacking. It’s enormous. There’s billions at stake.”

Harra added: “In the last two years, we have had 60 schemes in the tribunals, and 51 have been ruled in our favour.”

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