HMRC’s Counter Avoidance Directorate “significantly boosted tax take this year”

New research suggests that investigations into alleged tax avoidance schemes have managed to raise as much as £886million for HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

The figure, as collected by HMRC’s specialist Counter Avoidance Directorate (CAD), which was first set up in 2014, represents an 80 per cent increase over the £494m collected by the Revenue over the course of the last 12 months, according to reports.

The news follows an ongoing crackdown on tax avoidance, spurred on by the likes of the recent Panama Papers and LuxLeaks scandals.

In recent months, the Revenue has targeted the likes of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) and large companies, as well as so-called tax avoidance ‘enablers’ – such as solicitors and professional services firms – which now risk hefty fines for ‘enabling’ unlawful schemes under new proposals which took effect at the beginning of January.

Paul Noble, of law firm Pinsent Masons, said: “The CAD has significantly boosted tax take this year, and it is likely that HMRC and the Treasury will continue to pour resources into its work.

“After criticism for the backlog of unresolved cases, HMRC has sought to sharpen its approach. [It] wants to demonstrate that no one is out of its reach,” he added.