HRMC Tax Threat More Harm Than Good

Published: 06 August 2015

Lengthy court and publicity battles could ensue, with the possibility of defamation counter-cases from named parties. 

Anyone with £20m of assets with a history of serial tax avoidance is likely to have an army of advisers ready to argue the toss in the law courts and the papers. 

HMRC’s threat to ‘name and shame’ tax avoiders is not the best way to motivate them to pay up and could even backfire, writes Simon Maule of Linstock Communications.

According to newspaper reports, HMRC has threatened to ‘name and shame’ wealthy investors involved in tax avoidance schemes.

The expectation is that the risk of reputational damage will be sufficient to motivate people to pay their outstanding tax debts.

But is the threat of publicity and outing as a serial tax avoider an effective way to improve compliance? And what reputational risks does HMRC face if it implements this approach as one of the new counter-avoidance measures proposed by the Chancellor in the Summer Budget?

To read the full article, visit PR Week here.

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