CPS to target middle class tax evaders

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A fresh crackdown on tax avoidance will target middle class, professional tax avoiders and their advisers, according to the director or public prosecutions.

Speaking at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) HQ in London this week, Keir Starmer vowed that the CPS would get tougher with the "victimless crime" of tax avoidance.

In his keynote speech, he said the CPS is aiming to ramp up the number of cases prosecuted and tax files handled over a five-fold over a four year period.

"It is no secret that among HMRC's strategies for deterring tax evasion are taskforces to target high risk areas of work. One of the taskforces will be looking at lawyers, but grocers, retailers and restaurant owners will also be under scrutiny. Paying tax matters - whatever your background or profession," he 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."

Currently, the CPS' conviction rate for tax cases stands at 86%. 

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