Watch out for the £4 bil­lion tax claw­back

Daily Mail - - Money Mail - j.salmon@dai­ly­mail.co.uk

HM Rev­enue & Cus­toms is plan­ning to seize an ad­di­tional £ 4 bil­lion this year through more ag­gres­sive tax in­ves­ti­ga­tion work and tougher pow­ers, warns ac­coun­tancy group UHY Hacker Young.

This is an in­crease of a third on the £12.1 bil­lion of tax clawed back in dur­ing 2008/9, tak­ing the to­tal to £ 16.1 bil­lion in 2010/11.

John Ler­ston, a part­ner at the firm, says: ‘£4 bil­lion more tax is a mas­sive in­crease that shows how ur­gently the bud­get deficit needs to be re­duced. To achieve such an ex­treme tar­get, HMRC will be forced to come down hard on le­gal tax avoid­ance and il­le­gal evasion.’

He says: ‘HMRC’s risk pro­fil­ing is al­ready far from be­ing per­fect, with many en­quiries yield­ing very lit­tle or no ad­di­tional tax at all.’ An HMRC spokesman says: ‘ The £ 4bn in­cludes re­duced losses from such things as crim­i­nal attacks.

‘ We t r eat tax­pay­ers with re­spect and we be­lieve that the ma­jor­ity of tax­pay­ers are hon­est and want to play by the rules.’

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