HMRC tightens the screws on tax evasion

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is tightening the screws on tax evasion, according to new data which revealed a significant year-on-year rise in ‘specialist investigations’.

Approximately 3,000 firms were referred for ‘specialist investigation’ during the 2015/16 tax year, representative of an 8 per cent rise in serious investigations in comparison with 2014/15, according to studies conducted by law firm, Pinsent Masons.

The summer 2015 Budget saw HMRC receive an additional £800m to tackle the ongoing issue, and the tax man has plans to ‘triple’ the number of criminal prosecutions into ‘serious and complex tax crime’, Economia has reported.

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

“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.”