HMRC refuses to charge rich and powerful people with tax evasion to ‘avoid damaging their reputation’

Last week, at an economic crime conference in Cambridge, a senior HMRC official admitted that the UK tax authority panders to the rich and powerful when chasing them for tax evasion so they can avoid “reputational damage“. If you ever had any doubt that in Britain there really is “one rule for them, and another for the rest of us“, this utterly astonishing admission by the UK’s tax authority proves it.

Richard Las, a deputy director of HMRC, said that criminal prosecutions are not the “default option” for cases of tax evasion, money laundering or fraud. He went on to say:

“[Criminal prosecutions are only used] where it is necessary and it will have the greatest effect

When deciding whether to deploy our resources, we try to understand what motivates different types of offenders. For example some tax offenders are very wealthy, prominent members of the community.


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