HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) published its 2014/15 Annual Report yesterday.
Here are some of the headlines:
- £26.6bn delivered in compliance revenue, an increase of £2.7bn on 2013/14.
- £7.3bn of compliance yield from the UK’s 2,000 largest businesses, up from £5.9bn in 2013/14.
- £414m from compliance activity into the UK’s 6,000 wealthiest individuals, a jump from £268m in 2013/14.
- £1bn has now been collected via the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility since 2009.
- 1289 criminal prosecutions.
- 10,000 Accelerated Payment Notices (APNs) were issued in 2014/15, worth £1.7bn.
- 64,000 APNs are going to be issued in total.
- 379 Follower Notices were issued in 2014/15, with a value in excess of £170m.
|Accelerated Payments Notices issued||Forecast payments received by March 2015||Actual payments received by March 2015||Refunded after legal challenges||Net value|
- HMRC has been given a total of £800m to pursue non-compliance and tax evasion, with a view to delivering an extra £5bn a year.
- £300m is to allow HMRC to tackle non-compliance by small and mid-sized businesses, public bodies and affluent individuals.
- £60m is to enable HMRC to step up criminal investigations into serious and complex crime, particularly focused on wealthy individuals and corporate entities.
- £36m is to tackle non-compliance by trusts, pension schemes and non-domiciled individuals.
- Since its creation, HMRC has reduced its number of offices from 593 to 190. It intends to shrink the 190 further into a small number of large regional centres.
- At 31 March 2015 HMRC employed 57,137 staff, of which 26,222 were engaged in enforcement and compliance activity.
Current Enquiry Trends
- Following the closure of the Contractor Loan Settlement Opportunity, HMRC has started issuing enquiry notices to contractors whom it believes have participated in tax avoidance schemes.
- There is still a strong focus on ‘commerciality’ cases. HMRC compliance officers frequently seek evidence of business plans or marketing strategies from SMEs who have repeatedly made losses year after year. There is a strong emphasis on stud farms and farming in particular.
- HMRC continues to be very active in its pursuit of landlords. It has been collecting information from letting agents about the rents received on behalf of landlords and using Land Registry and Voters List entries to clampdown on tax evasion.
- In an example given by David Gauke at the 2015 HMRC annual stakeholder conference, Connect identified unregistered Houses of Multiple Occupancy – residences where its data suggested six or more people with three different surnames were living, but the landlord was not paying tax. HMRC shared the data with Home Office Immigration Enforcement, whose raid on a house led to three arrests for immigration offences.
Author: Guy Smith, Tax Investigations Manager
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