Is confusion and misunderstanding the same as tax fraud?

Running a business is not always easy no matter how many staff you employ or what procedures you have in place.  When there is too much to be done in the time and within the resources available, confusion and misunderstandings can easily occur.  The result is inevitably mistakes.  Or was it deliberate?  Is it tax fraud?

The “too difficult” category

Most people have consciously moved a particular task into the “too difficult” category.  It is worrying how many times a “too difficult” task results in some form of UK tax irregularity.  Examples can ultimately include the lack of an up to date Tax Return for an individual, partnership, limited liability partnership or company.  But that is not how it all starts.

Accidental tax fraud


There are many definitions of tax fraud – the working definition I use is “the intention to deceive”.  HMRC have their own view on life and as such, HMRC does not accept that a taxpayer can commit accidental tax fraud.  Moreover, HMRC consider any form of tax fraud to be deliberate behaviour.