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HMRC and CPS to tackle tax avoidance schemes together

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will be working with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to target dishonest tax avoidance schemes, it has been announced.

According to figures it published this week, the CPS managed to secure around 200 tax convictions in 2010 at a success rate of 86 per cent.

And it will look to increase case numbers by five times to 1,500 by 2015, working in collaboration with HMRC to target not only tax avoidance schemes but also those who invest in them.

Keir Starmer, Director of Public Prosecutions at CPS, said: "Tax evasion has to be dealt with robustly all the time. But in a recession, when ordinary law-abiding tax payers are suffering real hardship, the need to deter, detect and prosecute those who evade tax is greater than ever.

"There is a longstanding myth that unlike many other offences that the Crown Prosecution Service has to deal with, tax evasion is a victimless crime."

It comes after HMRC announced earlier this month that 32 of the UK's top tax cheats have received long prison sentences in the last 12 months.

Posted by Thomas Fletcher

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