And we should definitely give them more power too:
The woman was Louise Brittain (correct). She now works for Deloitte, charges around £750 an hour, and is described as very tough and experienced. In 2010, she was ranked 17th in Accountancy Age’s list of the industry’s top 100 power players.
She has said that she works out “the pinch point for the fraudster in advance. It could be their family or a house they’re particularly emotionally attached to.”
Having identified it, she goes for it. Mr Hone’s ‘pinch point’ was his business. He and his fellow directors, Richard Mills and brothers Pat and William Owen, whose father had started the company in 1971, didn’t know what to do. “We were looking at financial ruin. Louise Brittain told us our personal bank accounts had all been frozen. We had been ejected from our own company. Thirty-two people had lost their jobs. We didn’t even know where we would get money to live on.”
The action by HMRC had come out the blue. “Our business, systems and accounts had been given a very thorough going-over by a man from HMRC only a month prior to the liquidation order,” Mr Hone recalls.
“We had a letter back from him which gave no hint that we were suspected of fraud. In fact he said our accounts were in order.”
As it turns out, there was no fraud, HMRC were lying, and the business was closed down.
So yes, of course we should give HMRC more power. There just isn’t any cost at all in going after tax cheats, is there?