A third of the 109 businesses named and shamed in HMRC’s latest list of deliberate tax defaulters are independent food businesses.

Convenience stores and tobacco sellers represent nearly 10% businesses named, foodservice outlets such as takeaways and restaurants represent a further 21% and food and drink wholesalers represent 2.75% of deliberate tax defaulters.

The 10 convenience sites that HMRC fined received an average penalty worth 63% of the tax defaulted on. The tax default values ranged from £25,988 to £1,815,550.

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At least half were related to the sale of tobacco, with two of the shopkeepers named and shamed, Kamran Adil of Blackhall Wine Store in Hartlepool and Ismail Ibrahim Yusuf of Alppa Paan in London, holding previous convictions related to selling illicit tobacco.

The lists are published quarterly and show a rise in the number of convenience stores being caught by HMRC. Seven convenience stores were named in the each of the two previously published lists in March and June 2019. Only those with tax defaults of £25,000 or more are named by HMRC.

Research commissioned by HMRC and published in March 2018 concluded there is: “no strong evidence that publishing details of deliberate defaulters is an effective deterrent.”

Despite this, the policy continues even after a similar policy naming and shaming employers that do not pay the minimum wage was quietly culled last year.

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