Business News

Deliberate Defaulters Told ‘Taxman Will Be Watching You’

Tax cheats have been warned they face up to five years of detailed scrutiny by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

Starting in February, letters have been going out to 900 known evaders, warning them they will be subject to increased levels of personal scrutiny as part of the new Managing Deliberate Defaulters (MDD) programme.

The programme will closely monitor the tax affairs of individuals and businesses who have deliberately evaded tax to ensure that they are complying with tax obligations on an ongoing basis.

HMRC said that anyone tempted to break tax rules could face continued and close scrutiny for five years if they do so.

The level and term of monitoring will depend on the seriousness of the offence but HMRC does not anticipate that anyone will be released from the programme within two years.

HMRC will continue to check that returns are filed on time and that any tax that is due is paid on time, with regular reviews of deliberate defaulters’ tax affairs to check that any errors or failings have been put right.

Safeguards are also being put in place to ensure that deliberate defaulters do not escape scrutiny by simply starting up a new business under a different name or identity. In these instances, HMRC may continue to monitor the new business.

LINK: The Managing Deliberate Defaulters Programme