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Offshore investigations yield £560m in 2018/19

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HMRC investigations into British taxpayers with offshore assets and income collected £560m in additional tax revenue for 2018/19, according to data obtained under a freedom of information request by global payroll and contractor accountancy firm, Access Financial.

The yield from these investigations has increased by 72% over the last two years, rising from £325m in 2016/17. HMRC’s offshore, corporate and wealthy unit, part of the fraud investigation service, conducted 827 investigations in 2018/19, which represents a yield of £677,146 per taxpayer.

Kevin Austin, chief executive of Access Financial, commented: ‘HMRC’s new offshore unit is becoming much better at focusing its resources on the biggest tax threats. It is staffed by highly experienced lawyers and accountants and is armed with a vast amount of data and sweeping powers. It has already increased the amount it is netting from investigations by more than two thirds in just two years and this is likely to be a foretaste of much more to come’.

‘Tax authorities around the world are acting in a more joined-up way, which makes it increasingly important that taxpayers ensure their tax affairs are in order. Gone are the days when taxpayers who frequently worked or owned assets in different countries were able to slip between the cracks’, Austin added.

‘There is an incorrect assumption that people cease to be tax resident in the UK when they work abroad, but very often a UK tax liability will arise on foreign earnings. A significant proportion of British taxpayers who are working abroad, or have worked abroad recently, are likely to have not paid the correct amount of tax. The likelihood of HMRC catching up with them is much greater now than at any time in the past’, Austin warned.

Issue: 1450
Categories: News