Learn What Happened to Those Who Are Guilty of Tax Avoidance in the UK Below
For many, tax is a tedious, time-consuming task to complete; however, one must complete it. Businesses, corporations, workers and other organizations that generate a steady monthly income must pay their taxes to the Government annually. Income taxes are a vital source of revenue to the Government that helps them fund public infrastructures, scholarships, healthcare and allow the overall expenditure and Government operation to be carried out. Nevertheless, many people still do not take taxes seriously or pay them on time. Tax evasion is no joke – dire consequences await those who avoid tax in the UK. Find out more about tax avoidance and tax evasion ramifications in the UK today.
Tax Evasion in the UK
Not every tax evasion case is fined the same amount; some are taxed higher, and others are taxed lower, depending on the severity of the tax evasion situation. Like many countries worldwide, tax evasions in the UK are taken very seriously – the heaviest punishment for avoiding taxes can result in unlimited jail time and fine.
Tax evasion in the UK refers to the instances whereby people make the deliberate choice to avoid paying due taxes. The act of avoiding the tax is considered an illegal activity, which can be subjected to criminal charges and perpetrators can be liable to substantial charges. See below for the various types of tax evasions in the UK:
- Avoiding income tax.
The perpetrator can be convicted for six months in jail, fined up to £5000. The maximum penalty for evading income tax is seven years of prison time or an unlimited fine.
- Avoiding Value Added-Tax (VAT).
Magistrates court cases can sentence up to six months in jail or a maximum fine of £20 000. As for Crown court cases, one can be charged with a maximum sentence of seven years in prison or an unlimited fine.
- Cheating the public revenue.
The offence of cheating the public revenue is considered a grave offence. Given how cheating the public revenue is technically depriving the HRMC of their rightful money, the offence is reserved the most severe punishment, which is the life punishment and an unlimited fine.
- Providing false documentation to the HMRC.
Recklessly creating and providing false documentation to the HMRC is an offence that will only be tried in the Magistrates’ court. Upon conviction, the liability offence can be punished with a maximum imprisonment term of six months or a fine of £20 000.
- Avoiding duty taxes.
Also known as smuggling offences, a deliberate evasion of duty taxes can be fined up to £20 000. As for Crown court cases, offenders can be sentenced to not more than seven years in prison or an unlimited fine.
Pay Your Dutiful Taxes
Paying taxes is an obligation that every citizen who gets enough income, carries. Sorting out taxes is a dull job, all the more if you are self-employed. If you have a hard time paying your taxes on time, every time, then get a professional to do it for you. You can hire tax-preparers (yes, they exist!), accountants, or attorneys to delegate your taxes for you. Keep in mind that tax avoidance and tax evasion in the UK comes with a repercussion!