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UK vows to track down 'most wanted' tax cheats

Friday, August 09, 2013 - 01:33

August 9 - Britain has added another 10 new names to a list of high-priority targets accused of cheating the government out of hundreds of millions of pounds. Hayley Platt reports.

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These are the latest to be named and shamed in an FBI-style wanted list. They're accused of defrauding the UK government of millions of pounds in unpaid taxes. The problem is catching them. These are the men and women who have been recruited to find them. They're being taught self defence as part of the government's investment. Finance Minister George Osborne. SOUNDBITE: George Osborne, UK finance minister, saying (English): "This government is not going to tolerate people who evade their taxes. So the message is very clear - we are coming to get you and we will catch you." KPMG's Head of Tax Policy, Christopher Morgan, say it's one strategy in the government's toolkit to fight evasion. SOUNDBITE: Christopher Morgan, KPMG's Head of Tax Policy, saying (English): "What we've got to remember this is the really aggressive end of tax evasion like setting up things like bogus companies, collecting a whole load of VAT and then running off with the money so there's no difference between that and bank robbery, it's serious criminal conduct." But following public outrage over revelations that corporations like Amazon and Starbucks are using legal loopholes to avoid paying more tax in Britain, some campaigners accuse the government of going after the wrong target. SOUNDBITE: Christopher Morgan, KPMG's Head of Tax Policy, saying (English): "They're doing both. We wouldn't say just because there are a few criminals carrying out murder or whatever, we shouldn't put the resources towards stopping those people." Many of the tax criminals on the government's list are still at large. Despite their best efforts so far only two from the Treasury's original list of 30 have been caught.

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UK vows to track down 'most wanted' tax cheats

Friday, August 09, 2013 - 01:33