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New HMRC taskforce targets 'badges of wealth' in Scotland

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A new HMRC taskforce aims to recover £4.5m by targeting wealthy individuals in Scotland who appear to be living beyond their means by reference to the data HMRC holds. This follows a similar initiative focusing on Northern Ireland, as reported in Tax Journal, Issue 1270, see

HMRC is identifying individuals with ‘badges of wealth’ such as large houses, investments, aeroplanes, boats and undeclared offshore bank accounts which are not in keeping with the information they report to HMRC. The taskforce is expected to recover nearly £4.5m. It will bring together specialist officers from across HMRC to identify wealth indicators and cross reference them with the data HMRC holds about their owners.

HMRC’s Michael Connolly, HMRC Taskforce Lead in Scotland, said: ‘HMRC’s intelligence shows that people being targeted by this taskforce have no intention of playing by the rules. They are deliberately failing to declare all their income to HMRC in a crude attempt to line their own pockets, and they will be investigated. As a result of this behaviour, they could end up facing a heavy fine or even a criminal conviction. Those who pay the tax they are supposed to have nothing to worry about. Using information we hold, we can target people whose lifestyle does not reflect the tax they are paying. It’s not fair that a small minority are living millionaire lifestyles as a result of not paying the tax they owe.’

Issue: 1275
Categories: News , Private client taxes