For the sake of this blog we’ll call the HMRC task force the ‘Loan Rangers’. These Loan Rangers started targeting the tax payments of large organisations that operated predominantly in the UK but registered their offices outside the UK and therefore limited their Tax payments to an absolute minimum. On this subject, they were acting within the law, but their behaviour was deemed aggressive and inappropriate.
Anyway, back to our Loan Rangers! After highlighting these businesses and passing their details on to their legal team they now seem to be focusing on the next rung of the ladder . . . the middle class professional.
According to the City AM, the ‘number of prosecutions for tax evasion has doubled over the last year . . . bringing 617 tax evasion prosecutions in the 2012/2013 financial year, up from just 302’ since the previous year.
A couple of points for you to think about; If you are “middle class” which the Cambridge dictionary describes as; ‘a social group that consists of well-educated people, such as doctors, lawyers, and teachers, who have good jobs and are neither very rich nor very poor’, then surely you know better than to go against the current legal system upheld by the HMRC? And surely, if you are unsure about your tax planning you would employ an accountant to make sure that your submissions to the HMRC are compliant?
It’s also worth mentioning again that tax avoidance isn’t illegal, it’s just frowned upon. Tax evasion is the illegal matter of intentionally avoiding your tax responsibilities.
The HMRC are moving into previously unknown territory and are now cracking down on businesses such as companies who fail to pay VAT once their turnover reaches the £79,000 threshold.
So from us, this blog represents a heads up for smaller and medium sized businesses that the HMRC intend to hit 1,500 tax evasion cases a year by 2014/2015 with a conversion rate as high as 85%.
If you have any doubts about your tax planning then contact AIMS, we’ll be able to set you straight