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HMRC's Yield From Specialist Investigations Rises

by Robert Lee,, London

13 November 2014

New research from international law firm Pinsent Masons has shown that the compliance yield from HM Revenue and Customs' (HMRC's) "Specialist Investigations" team rose by 23 percent last year to hit a record GBP3.65bn (USD5.79bn).

2013-14 was the team's most successful year to date, according to Pinsent Masons. The GBP3.65bn retrieved is equivalent to 10 percent of the UK's estimated GBP34bn tax gap.

In 2012-13, the team recovered an additional GBP2.97bn from so-called "big ticket" tax avoidance, evasion and fraud. In 2007-08, it brought in GBP1.17bn.

The Specialist Investigations unit is tasked with looking into the most financially significant and complex cases of non-compliance. It will often be called in to lend its expertise to investigations into large corporates, High Net Worths and Ultra High Net Worths, or cases where records have been falsified or complex accountancy skills are needed.

Paul Noble, Tax Director at Pinsent Masons, said: "HMRC has been recruiting and training heavily in order to increase the activity of its Specialist Investigations Team – that new capacity is now clearly on-stream. HMRC is not only better equipped than ever before to chase down those it suspects of unfairly avoiding their fair share of tax, it's also far more uncompromising in how it conducts its investigations and far more hard-nosed when it comes to settling cases.

"As well as bringing in more 'missing' tax, this tough and targeted approach is also bound to increase the deterrent effect that HMRC is looking for. This increased investigatory capacity comes with a raft of other headline-hitting HMRC powers, such as more criminal sanctions for offshore bank account holders and new accelerated payment measures."

TAGS: compliance | tax | tax avoidance | revenue guidance | training | law | United Kingdom | tax authority | offshore | tax planning | HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) | revenue statistics | HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) | Tax | Tax Evasion

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