HMRC Nabs 56,000 Brits With Illegal Offshore Cash

Stopping offshore tax avoidance by 56,000 UK taxpayers has raised £1.3 billion in unpaid tax, according to figures from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

The haul is part of an extra £24 billion clawed back by HMRC last year as a crackdown on tax dodgers begins to bite.

The extra cash comes from a string of amnesties, investigations and legal challenges against tax avoidance schemes.

The biggest payment was £11 million from just one unidentified taxpayer.

Since December 2012, HMRC has also investigated 17,000 UK taxpayers holding offshore bank accounts and investments.

Plugged tax loopholes

The unpaid tax figures for the 2013-14 tax year is 14% up on the previous year, nearly 38% on 36 months ago and £1 billion ahead of the target set by Chancellor George Osborne.

The extra tax collected is the result of a £900 million in resources to track down taxpayers failing to fully declare their incomes.

The investment has seen the recruitment of 200 additional tax investigators to sift through returns and other documents to find unpaid tax.

The Treasury listed £8 billion – a third of the extra money collected – as coming from large business, £1 billion collected from tax evaders and £2.7 billion from failed tax avoidance schemes.

During the tax year, Osborne plugged corporation tax and stamp duty loop holes and announced forthcoming changes to capital gains tax rules for expats.

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke said:  “The minority who do not pay their taxes in full can expect to see more compliance activity from HMRC.

£100 billion tax target

“The bar was set high for collecting unpaid tax, but the figures show HMRC is taking on the challenge. I can also tell those that are still not paying their dues that HMRC will work even harder over the coming months to catch them.”

HMRC is tasked on raising around £100 billion in lost, unpaid tax between May 2010 and March 2015.

Recently, HMRC won a court case against a £21 million tax avoidance scheme involving reclaiming tax on a £500,000 charity gift.

This was the fifth case won against promoters NT Advisors. The total recovered from schemes offered by the firm now runs at £750 million.

HMRC has also published an insight into compliance work called HMRC fast facts: Record compliance revenues for the UK

The guide lists the highlights of HMRC’s efforts to trap tax cheats and outlines future strategies to stop tax avoidance.

Below is a list of some related articles, guides and insights that you may find of interest.

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