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HMRC’s Affluent Unit increases headcount and wage bill

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According to Moore Stephens, HMRC’s Affluent Unit has increased its headcount by 54% in two years, as HMRC intensifies its tax avoidance crackdown, growing from 213 inspectors in 2012/13, to 327 in 2014/15. The wage bill for Affluent Unit inspectors has risen by 68% over the same period, from £7.8m to £13.1m.

The Affluent Unit, set up by HMRC in 2011, investigates individual taxpayers with income of over £150,000 per year (or a net worth of at least £1m), and sits alongside the High Net Worth Unit which investigates taxpayers with higher levels of wealth.

Partner Dominic Arnold says: ‘This increase in headcount is a clear indication that HMRC intends to squeeze more tax out of a wider group of taxpayers. Additional tax inspectors at HMRC will be expected to pay for themselves many times over.

‘There is a strong political impetus behind maximising the tax take without increasing headline rates of tax. Like most central government departments, HMRC is under considerable pressure in terms of its budget but is determined to continue to ramp up its investigations into individual taxpayers. Some of the measures HMRC uses to determine who faces scrutiny can be quite crude.’

Issue: 1287
Categories: News