Names, addresses and professions of people who evade tax to be published under Budget

(TELEGRAPH)   The Treasury said that from next year HM Revenue and Customs will publish the names and addresses of people who have underpaid more than £25,000 in taxes.

Under the plans, which will be debated by Parliament later this year, tax inspectors will publish the offender’s profession and how much tax he or she had deliberately underpaid from April 2010.

Anyone who is found to have underpaid as little as £5,000 in tax will be given effective “tax Asbos” under which they will be monitored closely by tax inspectors for future wrongdoing.

Details of offenders will be published by HM Revenue and Customs every three months.

The Treasury said that anyone who made an “unprompted disclosure” about underpaid tax would not face the censure.

People affected would have the right to appeal the enforced publication of personal details to an independent tribunal.

Experts said publishing the personal details of those who had evaded paying more than £25,000 could amount to a “burglars’ charter”. There were also risks that the move could act as a disincentive to forcing people to pay up.

Heather Taylor, a tax investigator at Grant Thornton, said the measure could snare as many as 1,000 people a year. She said the underpayment threshold had been “set at quite a low level.”

Two million people – just over one in 20 of the adult population – are estimated to be involved in tax evasion.

Last year a committee of MPs suggested that in the recession an increasing number of middle class professionals such as lawyers and hospital consultants were tempted to work in the “black market”.

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