Taxpayers and companies who deliberately evade taxes face having their name, address and details of their evasion made public after new legislation was put into force today.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will be able to publish names and details of individuals and companies who are caught dodging their taxes from 1 April 2010.

Stephen Timms, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said:

“It is only right that people pay their fair share of tax, which supports vital public services. We know that law-abiding taxpayers will want to see the results of HMRC’s investigations into tax cheats.

“This new approach should make people think again about trying to get away with tax fraud. As well as having to pay the tax, interest on the tax, plus penalties of up to 100 per cent of the tax lost, they also now risk being identified publicly.

“We are only targeting deliberate tax evaders. So if you know that you have not paid the right tax, and you want to avoid being named, contact HMRC right away to set things straight.”

Notes to editors

  1. HM Treasury today appointed 1 April 2010 as the date on which s.94 of the Finance Act 2009 will come into force. This section authorises HM Revenue & Customs to publish the details of taxpayers where it is established that they have committed certain serious tax offences.
  2. It is planned that names will be published on HMRC’s website. Because this measure will only be applied for periods starting from 1 April 2010, it is not expected that any names will be published before the first half of 2011.
  3. Taxpayers who may be named are those who have deliberately evaded tax of more than £25,000 in total.
  4. If taxpayers make a full disclosure of any tax wrongs without delay they can avoid having their name and details published.
  5. Taxpayers who wish to come clean should approach their tax office.