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News - 1 March 2003
Inland Revenue to Pursue More Small Scale Prosecutions
The National Audit Office criticises Inland Revenue for not prosecuting enough people over tax evasion and fraud and calls on the Revenue's special compliance office to broaden its focus from complex, difficult to achieve, high-value prosecutions to small-scale business prosecutions
This criticism has come at a particularly sensitive time for the Revenue, which was recently panned by MPs for selling large parts of its property portfolio to a company that was based overseas for tax avoidance purposes. The Revenue's track records of recovering non-compliance tax streams would appear to be getting less efficient which resulted in them spending 13% more money last year to recover 6% less money than two years previously.
Small companies are an easy target for the Inland Revenue since many do not embrace modern accounting software and have a poor history of record keeping. Storing receipts and invoices in a shoebox that is dumped on the accountant's desk at the end of the year could have rather more serious consequences if the revenue decides that it will focus more attention on small businesses and resort to prosecution as well as recovery of taxes.
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