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Crawford Temple's Comment on the Tax Policy Making Framework

In line with the Tax Policy Making framework, the Treasury has today published a number of draft legislation measures to consider ahead of the next Finance Bill:

Specifically on tax avoidance, the Treasury is proposing:

- to double maximum sentences for the most egregious cases of fraud from 7 to 14 years to crack down on tax fraud and deter criminal actions

- to introduce tougher measures on promoters of tax avoidance, publishing draft legislation which creates a new criminal offence that will apply to promoters of tax avoidance schemes who fail to comply with a HMRC legal notice requiring them to stop promoting an avoidance scheme. The government is also publishing draft legislation which will enable HMRC to apply to the court for a disqualification order against directors of companies involved in promoting tax avoidance.

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

“Whilst we welcome any measures to prevent and deter tax avoidance, it has become apparent to me that HMRC is not naming any companies on their ‘Stop Notice list’* which means that those companies can continue to peddle criminal schemes and get away with it. Doubling the prison sentences will not serve to deter these criminals who are arrogant enough to think they will never get caught, particularly at the speed with which HMRC operates.

“I have said it before and I will continue to say it, enforcement is key and HMRC has all the data it needs to catch the perpetrators but they need to proactively tap into that data as a matter of urgency to quickly identify them, close them down and stamp out tax avoidance once and for all.”


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