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Tax evasion: HMRC’s poster campaign is overdue, says PKF

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A wider and more ‘direct’ approach to tackling tax evasion signalled by a poster campaign launched by HMRC last week is long overdue, according to PKF. HMRC announced that it was ‘warning tax cheats to declare all their income before it is too late’.

John Cassidy, tax investigation and dispute resolution partner, said he doubted that HMRC’s targeted tax campaigns and amnesties had caught the general public’s attention.

‘This direct approach is long overdue and I hope it does get the message to the public at large,’ he said after HMRC launched a new web page and a two-week campaign featuring posters on billboards, bus shelters and telephone boxes.

‘Whether you run a multinational company or are an e-trader, everyone should realise that it is not acceptable or sensible to try to evade your taxes,’ Cassidy said. ‘You are taking a serious risk by not declaring all your income – particularly now that new taxpayer responsibilities and a more joined-up approach make it easier for HMRC to catch those who try to stay off the tax grid altogether.’

HMRC also published an issue briefing titled New campaign against tax evasion. Its press release included a reminder that anyone who is aware of tax evasion can tell the department via its tax evasion hotline.