By Jonathan Davies

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has been accused of unfairly picking on microbusinesses, while turning a blind eye to avoidance by bigger businesses and the wealthy elite, by the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE).

The comments come following a report yesterday (Tuesday) on BBC Radio 4. The programme highlighted the famous Artic Systems case, in which company director Geoff Jones had a three year battle with HMRC.

IPSE funded that high-profile case which ended at the House of Lords and resulted in a historic win for the taxpayer. IPSE continues to provide funding for its members who are unfortunate enough to be investigated.

IPSE believes microbusinesses are an easy target for HMRC which is “stifling” the work of independent professionals across the country. The calls from IPSE come following allegations that HMRC are not going far enough to prosecute wealthy individuals such as those involved in the HSBC scandal.

Simon McVicker, Director of Policy and External Affairs at IPSE, said: “The way HMRC are fiercely pursuing independent professionals while turning a blind eye to tax avoidance tactics by big business is completely unfair and is stifling the important work of microbusinesses up and down the country, which will in turn affect economic growth.

“Tax avoidance on all levels is wrong, but in light of the recent HSBC allegations, HMRC are picking on innocent individuals while big business are getting away with wrongdoing lightly. One of IPSE’s top priorities is to support microbusinesses who are being unfairly treated by HMRC.”

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