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  • Crawford Temple

Crawford Temple's Comment on the Consultation Seeking to Introduce Harsher Punishments for Tax Avoid

The Government consultation seeking to introduce harsher punishments for tax avoiders closed on June 22nd.

Reiterating the urgency to tackle tax avoidance, Crawford Temple, CEO of Professional Passport, the UK’s largest independent assessor of payment intermediary compliance said:

“I would urge HMRC and the Government to listen to the experts who have taken the trouble to respond to this latest tax avoidance consultation. More action and fewer consultations are what are needed to stamp out tax avoidance. We clearly welcome any moves to reduce the promotion of tax avoidance arrangements, but HMRC has been slow to act thus far, some might say negligent, as they hold all the data to identify the schemes and take action to shut them down. For far too long, the schemes have been allowed to thrive with the architects getting away scot-free whilst their victims have been punished.

Off-payroll has fuelled the growth of the schemes which the industry predicted. A cost-of-living crisis has also served as an incentive for workers to seek out ways of saving money, but they are often unaware of the dire financial consequences they will face in time.

HMRC has failed to act quickly enough over the years and looking to introduce more punitive measures for these criminals is simply a case of shutting the stable door after the proverbial horse has bolted. Enforcement is key. A naming and shaming campaign is not good enough. The lack of enforcement simply makes the promoters more blatant in their claims of compliance and they peddle the narrative that if they were doing anything wrong then HMRC would have shut them down promptly. The lack of enforcement by HMRC simply gives the promoters time to make significant amounts of money, which is their driving factor. The workers are then left reeling in their wake and facing large tax bills. That is simply not right.”

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