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Publishing deliberate defaulters ‘not an effective deterrent’

printer Mail

HMRC’s ‘publishing details of deliberate defaulters’ programme, under which taxpayers are named and shamed, does not act as an effective deterrent, according to research commissioned by HMRC.

The programme was introduced in April 2010 and applies to taxpayers given penalties for deliberate inaccuracies, failures or wrongdoings amounting to more than £25,000. The first names were published in 2013.

For those named, the greatest impact was felt from the financial penalties themselves. Awareness of the policy among the general public was low (28%), which made it unlikely to alter taxpayer behaviour to any significant extent.

The research, conducted during 2017, involved eight in-depth interviews, ten discussion groups with both businesses and individuals, and a survey of 1,913 members of the general public. See the report at