HMRC have launched a multi million pound campaign to target tax evasion and fraud. The advertising campaign, which consists of billboard advertisements and a new website, was launched on Monday 12th November and is part of a Â£917 million programme to try and claw back some of the millions of pounds of revenue the treasury estimate is lost from ‘tax dodging’ each year.
Jennie Granger, HMRC’s new director general, enforcement and compliance, commented on the new campaign: please don’t fool yourself that HMRC won’t do anything – it is only a matter of time before we catch up with you’.
HMRC aim to raise an extra Â£7bn in tax receipts each year by 2014/15.
Tax evasion is clearly something that the government are keen to tackle; as exemplified by their Â£917 million expenditure on this programme. Whilst the new advertising campaign promotes an ‘amnesty’, encouraging people who have deliberately avoided paying tax previously to come forward and ‘start afresh’, HMRC are also expected to ramp up their investigations and prosecutions against those they find to be guilty of ‘tax dodging’.
If you are contacted by HMRC in relation to a tax investigation, it is essential that you seek advice from an experienced fraud solicitor as soon as possible. By doing so, you can ascertain advice on the best way to respond in the first instance, which can prove vital at a later stage in the investigation.
By Sian Hall, Criminal Defence solicitor