Tax crackdown nets £23.9 billion in extra revenue, UK

The tax crackdown by the UK government has resulted in a record £23.9 billion in additional tax revenue compared to last year, says HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the UK’s government department responsible for the collection of taxes.

The extra tax – the tax that HMRC collected as a result of increased activity to make sure tax dodgers pay what they owe – is $3.2 billion higher than in the previous year and £9 billion up on 2011.

According to HMRC:

  • Over £8 billion was collected from large business.
  • More than £1 billion was secured from criminals.
  • £2.7 billion was collected from tackling tax avoidance schemes in the courts.

More tax-dodging convictions

The HMRC says it won a number of court cases and closed some corporation tax and stamp duty land tax loopholes, “protecting the Exchequer from tax going unpaid.”

David Gauke, the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said:

“The government supports the hardworking, honest majority of taxpayers that play by the rules, and is determined to tackle the minority that seek to avoid paying the taxes they owe. We set HMRC ambitious targets to increase its yield and the figures published today demonstrate that HMRC is successfully meeting these challenges.”

Tax crackdown
HMRC is likely to focus on the assets tax dodgers move offshore.

“It also sends a clear signal – HMRC will pursue those seeking to avoid their responsibilities and will collect the taxes that are due.”

In 2012/2013, HMRC checked the tax affairs of 237,215 individuals, versus 119,000 in the previous year. In 2013, a total of 690 tax dodgers and benefit cheats were convicted following HMRC probes, compared to 477 convictions in 2012.

HMRC had been criticized by MPs

HMRC responded to sustained criticism from UK lawmakers who accused it of not using the law to its full extent to pursue unpaid taxes.

The government has a target to collect an additional £24.5 billion in the year ending in April 2015, and £26.3 billion for the following 12 months.

In its search for extra tax revenues, HMRC’s crackdown will probably concentrate on offshore money. Recently, the UK has signed several international agreements which will make it much more difficult for tax dodgers to hide their assets abroad.

When a deal was signed with Switzerland, the government had forecast £3.2 billion in extra tax revenue last year. The amount collected was nowhere near that amount.

HMRC and taxes

To find out about undeclared income and how to put it right, you can go to this web page. (Photo: HMRC)

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