“Help I Don’t Exist”! Advice for the Driver who isn’t really here

Many years ago, in line with the beginning of driver licensing, a report was made to the government compiled by Lord Grabiner QC. It made recommendations from his review of the ‘informal economy’ (ghost economy).

He said that we need more prosecutions as quickly as possible and the government listened. This report led to a new statutory offense of ‘fraudulent evasion of income tax’.

The Inland Revenue got their man. Mr Brown, of Darlington, a self-employed taxi driver, failed to tell the Inland Revenue of his business and was handed a 12-month Conditional Discharge after pleading guilty to the offence.

The amount of duty he fraudulently evaded was £2,428.99. The Inland Revenue is also taking civil action to recover this, plus interest!

This former ‘ghost driver’ is the first person in England to be successfully prosecuted under Section 144 of the Fraudulent Evasion of Income Tax Act.

Approaching the Taxman after being a ‘Ghost’ for many years, is a scary thing. And for those who have not registered for three/five/ten/twenty years it seems even scarier and scarier, especially when you realise that even if they weren’t earning enough to have a big tax bill, the costs in fines alone would be huge.

The Inland Revenue though have listened to people’s fears and in an effort to make things a little less scary, set up a ‘confidential service’, as they put it:

“to enable people in the “Informal Economy” to put their affairs in order”.

The good thing is, there is no pressure to give your name and address, and although once agreed, you will still have to do a Tax Return, there is a (no promise) “flexibility” with the various fines, depending on your situation.

The Inland Revenue guarantee that any call to their special unit will not be taped and any discussions can be terminated at any time and taken up again later. So, if you lose your bottle on the phone you can always try again, or even better get a Tax Practitioner to do it for you!!

For more information contact Drivertax. Now really is the time to come plunge into the world of Tax paying, because before you jump you can put your toe in the water first.