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  • Crawford Temple

Crawford Temple's Comment on the Latest Government Consultation: 'Tougher consequences for promoters

The Government has opened a consultation to introduce harsher punishments for tax avoiders, linked here.

Commenting, Crawford Temple, CEO of Professional Passport, the UK’s largest independent assessor of payment intermediary compliance said:

“Whilst HMRC and the Government are full of good intentions to clamp down on tax avoidance as they seek to introduce harsher prison sentences, opening another consultation simply delays action and enforcement. For far too long, a plethora of tax avoidance schemes have been allowed to thrive and the perpetrators have got away Scot-free whilst their victims have been punished. HMRC has all the data it needs to rid the industry of the bad eggs - its naming and shaming campaign has identified just the tip of the iceberg - there are many thousands of dodgy schemes operating in various guises and many masquerading as umbrella companies.

“HMRC has failed to act quickly enough over the years and a consultation that looks to introduce more punitive measures for these criminals is simply a case of shutting the stable door after the proverbial horse has bolted. HMRC should be catching these criminals before they are allowed to cause financial and emotional damage in the first instance. A harsher sentence may not even be enough of a deterrent anyway - the people behind these dodgy schemes are ruthless and savvy - they have got away with pedalling these schemes for far too long and don’t think they will ever be caught, and some don’t care as the financial reward is too tempting. I have been banging the drum for some time now - HMRC needs to act quicker and catch the criminals sooner. Enforcement is the key.”

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