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Taxman launches snitch site

TAX body HM Revenue &amp; Customs (HMRC) has launched a new website to help people snitch on businesses they believe may be dodging tax.<br /><br />HMRC said it has launched a new facility allowing people to &ldquo;raise their concerns online&rdquo; about firms and individuals that might be &ldquo;cheating the system&rdquo;.<br /><br />The push for informants, which comes amid a crackdown on City firms using offshore tax havens to reduce taxes, could lead to a wave of secret whistleblowers raising the alarm on their bosses.<br /><br />Financial secretary to the Treasury Stephen Timms said the system is confidential: &ldquo;Reporting your concerns online is quick and easy.&rdquo;<br /><br />He said over &pound;42m has been &ldquo;recovered&rdquo; as a result of information received directly from the public through the tax man&rsquo;s telephone service, but HMRC hopes to net much more in dodged revenues. <br /><br />&ldquo;We are committed to ensuring the tax system operates fairly and efficiently, and encourage anyone to share their information on activities they think may be unlawful,&rdquo; he said. <br /><br />&ldquo;This is just the latest step in demonstrating that, for tax cheats, the game is up.&rdquo;<br /><br />Under its new &ldquo;behaviourally based&rdquo; system of penalties, HMRC can now charge penalties of up to 100 per cent for individuals who deliberately evade tax. <br /><br />Companies face similar penalties. The government has launched a crackdown on tax evasion as the fiscal finances have spiralled out of control during the financial crisis.<br /><br />It comes as the City gears up for a 50p rate of tax on top earners, which is expected to drive talent fleeing overseas. <br />