HMRC draws up timetable to identify tax evaders

Date: 11/02/13

HMRC draws up timetable to identify tax evaders

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has drawn up a timetable of investigations it plans to launch over the next six months as part of an ongoing crackdown on tax evasion by wealthy individuals.

The document, entitled ‘Closing in on Tax Evasion’, sets out the ways in which HMRC will target affluent UK taxpayers suspected of not paying their fair share of tax.

HMRC will begin by scrutinising self-assessment tax returns submitted for the 31 January deadline for evidence of potential tax evasion, while this month (February) will see HMRC cross-checking information held by credit reference agencies to identify those whose income and wealth do not match records held by HMRC.

March’s campaign will see tax officials targeting people with second or multiple properties in the UK or abroad who have not declared any profits or gains made from these properties.

HMRC will increase the number of specialist investigators in April, resulting in more than 300 dedicated staff focusing on the affluent individuals suspected of tax evasion or avoidance, also using new data-driven tools to seek out those who are evading tax.  HMRC’s ‘affluence unit’ has already announced that it is now targeting individuals with assets and property worth £1 million, having previously focused on those with £2.5 million or more.

In May, HMRC will identify offshore trusts it believes are being used to hide income and assets overseas.

This timetable of investigations shows that HMRC is continuing its toughened stance on illegal tax evasion.  This makes it all the more important to ensure your tax affairs are in order.  A simple error or unintentional discrepancy could attract HMRC’s attention, so if you are unsure of anything then it is worth seeking qualified professional tax advice.

For further information, please contact Stuart Hinnigan at the office.

Stuart Hinnigan FCA CTA

Author: Stuart Hinnigan FCA CTA

Stuart’s career in accountancy began when he joined Preston based Moore and Smalley in 1994 following his graduation from Lancaster University. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1997 and then chose to specialise in...

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