Market leading insight for tax experts
View online issue

HMRC seeks £25bn in underpaid tax from large businesses

printer Mail

The amount of ‘tax under consideration’ by HMRC’s large business directorate rose to £24.8bn for the year ended 31 March 2017, which is a 13% increase over the previous year, according to Pinsent Masons. This figure is 31% higher than the amount similarly ‘under consideration’ in 2014/15.

‘Tax under consideration’ is HMRC’s estimate of the maximum potential additional tax that could be collected across all open tax enquiries before any investigations have taken place. Even though the amount actually due once investigations are complete is usually less, the increased estimates demonstrate how HMRC is stepping up its investigation activities, as it comes under pressure from the Treasury to improve compliance yields.

Heather Self, tax partner at Pinsent Masons, said that the steady increase showed HMRC was ‘broadening its horizons and putting a far wider range of transactions under scrutiny’. At the same time, Self said that many businesses were struggling with HMRC’s customer relationship manager system, making it ‘more difficult to get uncertainties resolved in real time’.