By Daniel Hunter

The Public Accounts Committee has called for tax dodgers to be 'named and shamed' to discourage the rich and famous from using legal loopholes to avoid paying the taxman.

The spending watchdog says HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is missing out on £5bn a year. It found some tax avoidance promoters were "running rings" around HMRC.

“Promoters of ‘boutique’ tax avoidance schemes like the one brought to our attention by the case of Jimmy Carr, are running rings around HMRC," Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts, said.

"They create schemes which exploit loopholes in legislation or abuse available tax reliefs such as those intended to encourage investment in British films, and then sign up as many clients as possible, knowing that it will take time for HMRC to change the law and shut the scheme down.

"Their clients can then take advantage of this window of opportunity to make a lot of money at the expense of the taxpayer, while the promoter simply moves on to a new a scheme and repeats the process. It is a game of cat and mouse and HMRC is losing."

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