Rich UK Taxpayers Pay 500 Million Extra Tax
September 12, 2012 Taxation in UK
LONDON – Concentrated efforts to improve tax compliance amongst wealthy individuals have led the UK to collect an extra half billion of taxes from the country’s richest individuals.
While addressing the lower house of Parliament on September 11th, the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne revealed that the ongoing efforts of the HM Revenue and Custom’s (HMRC) High Net Worth Unit have led to the collection of an extra GBP 500 million in taxes since 2009.
The High Net Worth Unit (HNWU) was established in 2009 and was intended to inspect the tax affairs of the country’s wealthiest tax payers.
Currently, the HNWU is charged with assessing the taxes of 5 000 of the country’s richest individuals whose net assets exceed GBP 20 million each.
According to the Chancellor, the HNWU has seen better than expected results, as it was originally forecasted to raise only GBP 300 million in its first three years of operation.
Providing more details on the successes of the HNWU, Martin Randall, the head of the unit, said that as a result of the investigations, each taxpayer who faced closer scrutiny by the HNWU ended up facing an GBP 100 000 in tax payments.
He explained the need for the Unit, saying that “…the tax affairs of the richest people in the country are, by their nature, complex, and that’s why we have focused resources on getting their tax right.”
He went on to say that the majority of wealthy taxpayers ensure that their tax obligations are calculated and paid correctly, and the unit is designed to take action against the small minority of individuals who decide to flaunt the rules.