Tax dodgers warned of major crackdown

Tax dodgers are being warned of a sharp rise in the number of cases being prosecuted. Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, says the current economic climate makes it even more important to tackle avoidance. He's predicting fivefold over the next four years.

Keir Starmer QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions Credit: Press Association

Keir Starmer said: "There are people suffering who are paying taxes. I think it's important for a prosecution service to respond to public concern, to be seen to be in tune with what ordinary people think ought to happen and gain the confidence of people that we are prosecuting good cases properly.

"The heart of the ramping-up is not only the increase in volume that's already been referred to but also a demonstrability to prosecute highly complex dishonest tax avoidance schemes. So, big tax avoidance schemes if they are dishonest will be prosecuted."

There were 550 tax evasion convictions in 2011/12.