Rise in specialist investigations into tax evasion

A new study has revealed a significant year-on-year rise in specialist investigations into tax evasion conducted by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

Research conducted by law firm Pinsent Masons found that around 3,000 firms were referred for ‘specialist investigation’ during the 2015/16 financial year, representative of an 8 per cent rise over the number of in-depth probes recorded in 2014/15.

The news comes after HMRC acquired an additional £800m to tackle the issue following the 2015 Summer Budget.

An HMRC spokesperson said: “Anyone who is concerned that their tax position is compromising is likely to find that the taxman looks more favourably on them if they come forward of their own volition to reach a solution.”

“We use some of the world’s most sophisticated data systems to identify tax dodgers and we take tough action against them, prosecuting more than 1,000 tax evaders and securing more than £26 billion in additional revenue last year.

“Alongside this, we have bought in more than £2 billion from offshore tax evasion initiatives since 2010, with more to come.

“If you’ve been cheating on your taxes, it always makes more sense to come to us before we come for you.”

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Lee Davy-Martin

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