UK To Launch Tax Evasion Blitz

September 20, 2010 Taxation in UK

fresh start danny alexander 01UK tax authorities are preparing to launch a new anti-tax evasion campaign that could net as much as GBP 7 billion annually.

Speaking at annual Liberal Democratic Party Conference on September 20th Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasurer, announced that the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are about to spend GBP 900 million on a new anti-tax evasion and tax fraud investigation campaign.

According to Danny Alexander, if the new initiative will be successful, it could net an approximate tax revenue boost of GBP 7 billion annually by the year 2015. The HMRC hopes that the campaign will increase tax evasion prosecutions fivefold through the formation of a new investigative team who will concentrate on discovering the hiding of incomes and assets in offshore accounts. The team will also concentrate on stemming tax evasion committed by the wealthiest sector of UK taxpayers, especially high-income individuals attempting to evade the country’s 50 percent top personal tax rate. .

The HMRC already runs a department charged with closely monitoring and scrutinizing the tax-affairs of high-wealth individuals in the UK. Danny Alexander indicated that with the planned funding increase the unit could begin monitoring of up to 150 000 taxpayers, compared to the current level of 5 000. Additional resources will also be given to local police authorities with the intention of ramping up the fight against suspected tax fraud, and tobacco and alcohol smuggling.

Danny Alexander summarized the HMRC’s intentions behind the new campaign, saying: “…we will be ruthless with those often wealthy people and businesses who think they can treat paying tax as an optional extra…we will increase the number of people being prosecuted and we’ll go after people putting money into tax havens.”

Photo by Liberal Democrats