HMRC has set its sights on the affluent

Date: 24/11/15

HMRC has set its sights on the affluent

Those with high incomes are warned to get their tax affairs in order as HM Revenue & Customs bolsters its Affluent Unit.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has announced this week that it has doubled the number of inspectors trawling through the tax files of individuals earning £150,000 or more. 

The so-called ‘Affluent Unit’, which concentrates on people who earn enough to pay the 45 per cent additional-rate tax, has increased its headcount by 54 per cent in two years, from 213 in 2012/2013 to 327 in 2014/2015.

Before now, the taxman has mainly investigated ‘high net worth’ individuals who earn £1 million or more. 

However, we believe the increase in the number of tax investigators may indicate that they are now turning their attention to those further down the income scale.

This growth in the Affluent Unit reflects HMRCs drive to improve revenue collection across the board. 

We understand that this unit is especially interested in those owning property in the UK and abroad or who use offshore bank accounts.  Individuals that have filed self-assessment returns late or anyone who has previously invested in a scheme devised to reduce tax bills may also be a target.

If anyone is concerned that they might be the subject of a tax investigation now or in the future should contact a professional who can act on their behalf to minimise any potential penalties.

For more 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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