The data may have taken the best part of 7 months to extract from HMRC, but the wait was worthwhile as the latest revenue results from campaigns are an interesting read.
Campaigns involve a window of opportunity for the targeted business sector to voluntarily disclose and pay tax on undeclared income and/or overstated expenditure to HMRC, in return for a reduced penalty. Once the window has closed, HMRC embarks upon follow up compliance activity, which typically includes investigations and prosecutions.
According to the data released by HMRC, over £1.2bn has been generated from the 18 campaigns launched to date. Only 3 remain live which are the Let Property, Second Income and Credit Card Sales campaigns.
Arguably of more interest is the amount of money HMRC is continuing to collect from the subsequent compliance action. For example, between February 2015 and March 2017, HMRC delivered nearly £25m from the ongoing pursuit of doctors and dentists in the aftermath of the Tax Health Plan campaign, even though the disclosure opportunity closed all the way back in June 2010.
During the same time frame nearly £18m was extracted from online traders, even though the E marketplaces campaign closed in September 2012.
Here are the top 5 revenue generating closed campaigns:
- Tax Health Plan (doctors and dentists) – £24.7m
- E marketplaces (online traders) – £17.7m
- Property Sales (UK and foreign residential disposals) – £14.6m
- Offshore New Disclosure Opportunity (UK based individuals/businesses with an offshore account/asset) – £10.8m
- VAT Outstanding Returns (window for VAT registered businesses to get uptodate with late VAT returns) – £8.0m
These figures cover the period between 1 February 2015 and 31 March 2017.
The money being delivered by the Let Property Campaign also appears to be gathering momentum with £135.2m accumulated by 31 March 2017.
Launched in September 2013, the campaign initially delivered just over £0.5m on average per month, but that average has gradually climbed and is now close to £5m a month based on this latest data.
|Date||Amount collected (£m)||Increase (£m)||Average per month (£m)|
|Launch – 30 October 2014||7.8||N/A||0.60|
|31 January 2015||20.0||12.2||4.06|
|30 June 2016||92.0||72.0||4.23|
|31 March 2017||135.2||43.2||4.80|
Once a campaign window has closed, it must be tempting for that particular business sector to breathe a sigh of relief and to assume HMRC has moved on to different targets. There is an element of truth in that presumption, however there is also a false complacency in assuming HMRC has moved on completely.
As the figures show, the follow up compliance action continues for a long time, with HMRC still highly active with some campaigns 6, 7, even 8 years after the disclosure window has closed.
Of course the sensible solution is to have fee protection insurance in place, just in case HMRC does begin a tax enquiry after a campaign. If you are a taxpayer, speak to your accountant about ensuring you have the necessary cover just in case your business sector is chosen by HMRC.
Here is the complete table setting out the latest results:
|Campaign||Launch||31/1/15 (£)||31/3/17 (£)||Increase||Closure date/Live|
|Offshore Disclosure Facility||2007||512,190,000||512,455,397||265,397||November 2007|
|Offshore New Disclosure Facility||2009||156,923,070||167,759,651||10,836,581||March 2010|
|Tax Health Plan||2010||70,961,034||95,661,578||24,700,544||June 2010|
|Plumbers Tax Safe Plan||2011||22,166,777||23,877,100||1,710,323||August 2011|
|Tax Catch Up Plan||2011||2,968,808||3,785,832||817,024||March 2012|
|VAT Initiative||2011||22,271,526||22,711,137||439,611||December 2011|
|E marketplaces||2012||9,379,361||27,175,038||17,795,677||September 2012|
|Electricians Tax Safe Plan||2012||15,803,609||16,633,824||830,215||August 2012|
|Tax Returns Initiative||2012||86,279,162||86,412,021||132,859||October 2012|
|Direct Selling||2012||505,617||757,568||251,951||February 2013|
|My Tax Return Catch Up||2013||33,137,621||39,795,869||6,658,248||October 2013|
|VAT Outstanding Returns||2013||38,696,945||46,719,118||8,022,173||February 2013|
|Property Sales||2013||8,245,782||22,869,794||14,624,012||September 2013|
|Health Wellbeing Tax Plan||2013||936,315||3,031,057||2,094,742||April 2014|
|Solicitors Tax Campaign||2014||0||1,337,482||1,337,482||June 2015|
|Credit Card Sales||2014||0||398,386||398,386||Live|
|Campaign Consequential Disclosures||5,536,921||20,455,297||14,918,376|
If you would like to discuss the content of this article in greater detail, please contact the author, Guy Smith, our Head of Technical Research at firstname.lastname@example.org