House Of Commons Debate On Tax Avoidance And Evasion
House of Commons Hansard 25th February 2020 included “The moving target of criminality, as it relates to landfill tax fraud”. Is the Beacon Park Golf Course landfill soon to be investigated by HMRC?
Mr Kevan Jones MP (North Durham) (Lab)
“I wonder whether the Minister thinks that there is a strong ethos of enforcement within HMRC, especially on landfill tax fraud, which I will speak about. In a case I was involved in, HMRC was not interested unless there was more than £20 million a year in evasion. Does that not send a signal that some people can get away with evading large amounts of tax, because there is not an ethos in HMRC to properly investigate?”
Steve Barclay MP Chief Secretary to the Treasury
“As a point of principle, HMRC always seeks to collect the tax that it is due. One of the areas of innovation—I will come on to such areas as Making Tax Digital—is about making that easier for HMRC, but I appreciate that the right hon. Gentleman is making a point more about fraud than error. The underlying principle is that HMRC always looks to collect the tax that it is due, but if he has a specific point on a constituency basis, I know that my right hon. Friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury will always be keen to discuss it with him, because he has a zeal for cracking down on any such practice”.
Mr Kevan Jones
“On the analytics, what is HMRC doing to track individuals who set up companies, fold them after two or three years and then open up new companies? A constituent came to me with a case in the cosmetic surgery industry where the same individuals moved from one company to another while owing huge amounts to the Inland Revenue and to local councils in council tax. What is HMRC doing to track these individuals? The three individuals involved in the company my constituent highlighted to me have evaded huge amounts of tax”.
“The right hon. Gentleman raises an important point about the moving target of criminality and the ingenuity of approaches to evade tax or abuse the tax system. That is partly why I referred earlier to the fraud service set up within HMRC in 2016. It is also a key part of how technology is used in a dynamic way within HMRC to tackle that moving target of criminality. As I said in answer to his earlier intervention, if in their surgeries Members are told of case involving firms or local authorities in their constituencies, that intelligence is obviously of relevance to colleagues, and I can commit that the Financial Secretary would take those forward”.
Rosie Cooper MP has been to the Beacon Park Golf Course
to see the landfill, including the unlawful excessive landfill now being moved around the course to lessen the effect of the “footgolf” and new “9Hole course”. Serco Leisure Operating Ltd, Oakland Golf and Leisure Ltd (and associate companies) and WLBC, must now be investigated as the Chief Secretary to the Treasury has committed.