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Tax avoidance crackdown nets £1bn for HMRC

Tax avoidance crackdown nets £1bn for HMRC

The continued efforts by HMRC to clamp down on tax avoidance have seen definite results, according to a new announcement from Treasury Secretary David Gauke.

Under new rules introduced last year regarding accelerated payments, some avoidance scheme users have been hit by having to pay disputed tax up front.

£1bn result

HMRC has collected £1bn in payments from tax avoiders as a result of the government’s new rules.

The new methods of collecting disputed tax have already netted the government £1bn, Gauke said.

“The Government will not tolerate tax avoidance and accelerated payments has been a real game changer," he stated.

“It is no longer possible for these individuals to avoid tax and sit on the money while their affairs are investigated. This first £1bn received in accelerated payments shows that we are turning the tables on those looking to avoid paying their fair share,” Gauke explained.

Running out of options

While the issue of tax avoidance is totally separate from that of evasion, HMRC continues to look for ways to close loopholes that can be legally exploited by the accountancy sector.

Director General for enforcement and compliance at HMRC Jennie Granger said: “Tax avoiders are running out of options. People now have to pay upfront and dispute later. We are winning around 80% of avoidance cases that people litigate. And many more are settling before litigation.”

Since August 2014, HMRC has issued in excess of 25,000 notices to pay disputed tax, and by the end of next year, it expects to have completed issuing around 64,000 in total. The expected revenue from this process is estimated to be worth around £5.5bn for the Treasury by March 2020. 

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