In this section:
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Publishing details of deliberate tax defaulters

Frequently Asked Questions

What details are included in the list?
Does the list contain information about people who are tax criminals?
Why does the format for the periods vary?
Why isn't the same type of detail recorded for each entry?
What does the address refer to?
Why do so many addresses say formerly of or formerly trading as?
Why does HMRC not explain the precise nature of the default?
Does the information published represent the full default of the taxpayer?
I want to know more about the taxpayer and their default. Will HMRC provide further information?
When will HMRC publish details about people?
How long will defaulters' details be available on HMRC's website?
Why are there no details about deliberate defaulters before April 2010?
I have been evading tax/I have just received a letter from HMRC asking me questions about my return. How can I avoid having my details published?
What can I do if I know about a tax cheat?

What details are included in the list?

The list include details of taxpayers who have incurred a penalty either because they have deliberately provided one or more inaccurate documents to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), they have deliberately failed to comply with an HMRC obligation or committed a VAT or Excise Wrongdoing. These deliberate acts have resulted in HMRC establishing an additional amount of tax of more than £25,000. We will only publish the details where the taxpayer has not made a full and immediate disclosure when HMRC started to investigate or prior to any investigation.

Where the publication criteria have been met, the legislation allows HMRC to publish some or all of the following:

  • the name of the person who incurs the penalty including any trading name, previous name or pseudonym
  • the person's address (or registered office, in the case of a company)
  • the nature of any business carried on by the person
  • the amount of the qualifying relevant penalty or penalties
  • the qualifying potential lost revenue (PLR) in relation to the qualifying relevant penalty, or the total of the qualifying PLR for all of the qualifying relevant penalties
  • the periods when the inaccuracy, failure or wrongdoing that gave rise to the qualifying relevant penalty or penalties occurred
  • any other details that HMRC considers necessary in order to make the person's identity clear

Does the list contain information about people who are tax criminals?

Information in this list, relates to deliberate defaulters who have been dealt with, in this instance, using civil proceedings. Convicted tax criminals will have been found guilty of a criminal offence in open court and the verdict and sentence is a matter of public record. In many cases where tax criminals have been successfully prosecuted HMRC releases details of the case and those convicted in a press release to local and/or national media.

Why does the format for the periods vary?

In some cases the deliberate defaults relate to a specific period of time - this varies from tax to tax. In other cases it is a specific act on a specific day that constitutes the deliberate default and it is this date we publish.

Why isn't the same type of detail recorded for each entry?

The legislation which allows HMRC to publish information states that we can publish any information that is required to provide a unique identification for the taxpayer. We will publish the minimum amount of information required to do this. This will vary from case to case.

What does the address refer to?

The address is the one associated with the published person at the time of the default.The address may refer to a business address or a home address. Where the default relates to a business, we will normally publish the address from which the business is and/or was operated, rather than the home address. We will publish home addresses (including registered offices for companies) where the default(s) relates to non-business taxes or where publishing a business address would not clearly identify the taxpayer.

Why do so many addresses say formerly of or formerly trading as?

The published address may refer to a business address or a home address and is the one associated with the published person at the time of default. The person may have become insolvent or may no longer be trading, there may now be an unrelated business trading from the address which has no connection to the published business. Including 'formerly' in the address line is to clarify that the published person is no longer trading from that address.

Why does HMRC not explain the precise nature of the default?

HMRC is prohibited from disclosing information held by it but one of the exemptions to this prohibition is where legislation permits disclosure. This publication is allowed by legislation which specifies the information that HMRC may publish. HMRC cannot provide any further information to the general public beyond what is published here.

Does the information published represent the full default of the taxpayer?

Not necessarily. HMRC do not publish information about any penalties where the taxpayer has provided a full and immediate disclosure when HMRC starts to investigate, or prior to any investigation. Also, the information published here only includes information about one investigation. It does not include any information about other defaults in the past. Nor does it include details of any penalties which have been incurred due to the person's careless, rather than deliberate, behaviour.

I want to know more about the taxpayer and their default. Will HMRC provide further information?

HMRC cannot provide any further information beyond that published on its website.

When will HMRC publish details about people?

To ensure that new information is published promptly and that no information is published for longer than 12 months, HMRC will review the list on a regular basis. Usually this will mean that any changes will be made on a quarterly basis.

How long will defaulters' details be available on HMRC's website?

A defaulter's details will be held on HMRC's website for a maximum of twelve months from the date they are first published.

Why are there no details about deliberate defaults before April 2010?

HMRC can only publish details about defaults that have occurred on or after 1 April 2010, or for tax periods starting on or after 1 April 2010.

I have been evading tax/I have just received a letter from HMRC asking me questions about my return. How can I avoid having my details published?

Please contact HMRC immediately. Anyone involved in a compliance check has the opportunity to disclose errors to HMRC from the outset. Making an early disclosure and cooperating with the check to ensure it is resolved promptly helps to reduce the level of any penalty and the risk of publication. You will be able to put your point of view as part of this process and there is a right of appeal to an independent tribunal against the tax and penalty decisions that determine whether or not your details will be published. If you wait until HMRC investigates you, and don't provide all the information we need right at the start of the investigation, you run the risk of having your details published.

What can I do if I know about a tax cheat?

HMRC operate a tax evasion hotline which you can phone on 0800 788 887 between 8.00 am to 6.00 pm, Monday to Friday. You can also email the details via HMRC's secure Tax Evasion Hotline form or via post to:

HM Revenue & Customs
Freepost NAT22785
Cardiff

Top