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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

NY Times: Britain Names and Shames Accused Tax Scofflaws

UKNew York Times:  Britain Names and Shames Accused Tax Scofflaws:

A hairdresser in Liverpool and a knitwear manufacturer in Nottingham were among the first nine people and companies publicly branded tax scofflaws by the British authorities as part of a government “name and shame” campaign.

On its Web site, Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs on Thursday published the names and addresses of accused tax cheats, along with the amount the department says they owe. The individuals and small businesses owe a combined £1.8 million, or $2.7 million, in fines and unpaid taxes. The department said the list would be updated every three months.

The campaign is intended to encourage Britons to pay their taxes in full and put pressure on tax dodgers to come forward, the government said, but some lawmakers and pressure groups argued that it failed to address the real problem in Britain: tax avoidance strategies used by large corporations.

“The publication of these names sends a clear signal that cheating on tax is wrong and reassures people who pay their taxes — the vast majority — that there are consequences for those who refuse to tell Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs about their full liability,” David Gauke, exchequer secretary to the Treasury, said in a statement.

(Hat Tip: Mike Talbert.)

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