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Deliberate tax defaulters list updated
HMRC has updated its list of deliberate tax defaulters. The list includes individuals, businesses and companies and the amounts on which penalties are due and the amount of penalties charged. The details of a tax defaulter will be held on HMRC’s website for a maximum of twelve months from the date they are first published and are not stored within the national archives.
A deliberate defaulter is a person who incurs a relevant penalty for one of the following:
- An inaccuracy in a return or document for a tax period beginning on or after 1 April 2010.
- A failure to comply with certain obligations, such as the obligation to notify HMRC of a liability to tax.
- A VAT or excise wrongdoing that occurred on or after 1 April 2010.
The measure affects the following groups of taxpayers:
- Taxpayers (individuals, businesses and companies) who are penalised for deliberately understating tax due, or overstating claims or losses, of more than £25,000.
- Taxpayers who are penalised for deliberately failing to notify HMRC when required to do so, leading to a loss of tax of more than £25,000.
- Taxpayers who are penalised for deliberately committing certain VAT and excise wrongdoings, leading to a loss of tax of more than £25,000.
Taxpayers who make unprompted disclosures or a satisfactory fully prompted disclosure are not affected by these rules. Obviously, the threat of being named and shamed is not a sufficient deterrent for every taxpayer, but for many that have outstanding issues this may offer enough encouragement to come forward.
Genuine HMRC emails
HMRC has issued an advisory note to let employers know that it is in the process of emailing an employer alert. These emails are titled Important information for employers and refer to Employer Bulletin 55. These emails are genuine and include valid links to pages on the GOV.UK website. HMRC is also sending text messages to some taxpayers who have fallen behind in making payments. These texts provide details on making a payment to HMRC as well as a helpline number.
Taxpayers should remain wary as the problem of fraudulent emails continues. The sender’s email address can sometimes point to a fraudulent email address although fraudsters have been known to falsify the 'from' address to look like a legitimate HMRC address for example '@hmrc.gov.uk'. Fake email messages can appear to be genuine but clicking on a link from within the email can result in personal information being compromised and the possibility of computer viruses affecting your computer or smartphone.
If you are unsure as to the validity of any email it should not be opened until the sender can be verified. HMRC has made it clear that it does not send notifications of tax rebates by email nor do they ask recipients to disclose personal or payment information by email. HMRC also points out that fraudsters want recipients of their emails to act immediately. Taxpayers should be suspicious of emails containing phrases like you only have 3 days to reply or urgent action required.
New fees for tax tribunal cases
The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has published a new consultation document on plans to introduce new Court and Tribunal fees. This consultation follows on from earlier measures that saw the introduction of fees for some Tribunals. Currently there are no fees charged in either the Tax Chamber or the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery). The new proposals seek interested parties' views on the introduction of new fees. These fees, if introduced, will apply to tax appeals.
The estimated full cost of the First and Upper Tiers of the Tax Chamber was £8.7m in 2013–14. The MOJ estimates that these proposals would generate a cost recovery percentage of around 26% after remissions across the First-tier and Upper Tier combined. The remainder of the cost of running the service will continue to be borne by the taxpayer. The proposed fees will depend on the complexity of the appeal.
For filing an appeal with the First-tier Tribunal the proposed fees are as follows:
- £50 to issue paper and basic cases;
- £200 for standard and complex cases.
Assuming the appeal proceeds to a hearing the proposed fees for the hearing itself are:
- Basic appeal £200;
- Standard appeal £500;
- Complex appeal £1,000.
There will also be additional fees to seek permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal; a fee of £100 to seek permission to appeal, £200 for a permission hearing (where permission has been refused on the papers) and £2,000 for a substantive appeal hearing. The consultation document is open for responses until 15 September 2015.