FINANCE ACT 2009
Standards and values
Publishing details of deliberate tax defaulters
94 (1) The Commissioners may publish information about any person if—
(a) in consequence of an investigation conducted by the Commissioners, one or more relevant tax penalties is found to have been incurred by the person, and
(b) the potential lost revenue in relation to the penalty (or the aggregate of the potential lost revenue in relation to each of the penalties) exceeds £25,000.
(2) A “relevant tax penalty” is—
(a) a penalty under paragraph 1 of Schedule 24 to FA 2007 (inaccuracy in taxpayer’s document) in respect of a deliberate inaccuracy on the part of the person,
(b) a penalty under paragraph 1A of that Schedule (inaccuracy in taxpayer’s document attributable to deliberate supply of false information or deliberate withholding of information by person),
(c) a penalty under paragraph 1 of Schedule 41 to FA 2008 (failure to notify) in respect of a deliberate failure on the part of the person, or
(d) a penalty under paragraph 2 (unauthorised VAT invoice), 3 (putting product to use attracting higher duty etc) or 4 (handling goods subject to unpaid excise duty) of that Schedule in respect of deliberate action by the person.
(3) “Potential lost revenue”, in relation to a penalty, has the meaning given by—
(a) paragraphs 5 to 8 of Schedule 24 to FA 2007, or
(b) paragraphs 7 to 11 of Schedule 41 to FA 2008, in relation to the inaccuracy, failure or action to which the penalty relates.
(4) The information that may be published is—
(a) the person’s name (including any trading name, previous name or pseudonym),
(b) the person’s address (or registered office),
(c) the nature of any business carried on by the person,
(d) the amount of the penalty or penalties and the potential lost revenue in relation to the penalty (or the aggregate of the potential lost revenue in relation to each of the penalties),
(e) the periods or times to which the inaccuracy, failure or action giving rise to the penalty (or any of the penalties) relates, and
(f) any such other information as the Commissioners consider it appropriate to publish in order to make clear the person’s identity.
(5) The information may be published in any manner that the Commissioners consider appropriate.
(6) Before publishing any information the Commissioners must—
(a) inform the person that they are considering doing so, and
(b) afford the person reasonable opportunity to make representations about whether it should be published.
(7) No information may be published before the day when the penalty becomes final (or the latest day when any of the penalties becomes final).
(8) No information may be published for the first time after the end of the period of one year beginning with that day (or that latest day).
(9) No information may be published (or continue to be published) after the end of the period of one year beginning with the day on which it is first published.
(10) No information may be published if the amount of the penalty is reduced under—
(a) paragraph 10 of Schedule 24 to FA 2007, or
(b) paragraph 13 of Schedule 41 to FA 2008, (reductions for disclosure) to the full extent permitted.
(11) For the purposes of this section a penalty becomes final—
(a) if it has been assessed, when the time for any appeal or further appeal relating to it expires or, if later, any appeal or final appeal relating to it is finally determined, or
(b) if a contract is made between the Commissioners and the person under which the Commissioners undertake not to assess the penalty or (if it has been assessed) not to take proceedings to recover it, at the time when the contract is made.
(12) The Treasury may by order vary the amount for the time being specified in subsection (1).
(13) This section comes into force on a day appointed by order made by the Treasury.
(14) Orders under this section are to be made by statutory instrument.
(15) A statutory instrument containing an order under subsection (12) is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of the House of Commons.
(16) In this section “the Commissioners” means the Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.