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A welcome return to traditional tax investigations

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Ever-greater amounts of information about taxpayers and novel methods of encouraging retrospective compliance are a boon for HMRC in closing the tax gap. However, it is to be welcomed that HMRC investigation levels have surged again since the covid-induced nadir of the second quarter of 2020. The government would be wise to invest in expanding HMRC investigation work further. In situations where taxpayers want to believe they are fully compliant but often are not, or where people involved in deliberate behaviour cannot be nudged, there is no substitute for HMRC opening investigations, using information powers to establish the full facts.

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