UK Triples the Number of Surprise Raids

July 8, 2014 Taxation in UK

LONDON – UK tax authorities are increasingly turning to surprise raids to uncover evidence of tax evasion.

The UK HM Revenue and Customs is conducting an increasing number of searches and raids on the properties of suspected tax evaders, having conducted 500 such investigations over the course of 2013, according to new information released by the UK based law firm Pinsent Masons.

The number of raids conducted in 2013 is a 12 percent increase over the previous year, and approximately 3 times more than the cumulative number of raids conducted between 2008 and 2011.

The majority of raids have been conducted early in the morning, or during holiday periods, when suspected tax evades will not be prepared to hide evidence and will not be able to seek immediate advice from their legal or accounting team.

The raids are intended to help the HMRC uncover evidence of tax evasion, and to take legal action against individuals found to be willfully hiding from their tax obligations, but, according to the head of Pinsent Masons Jason Collins, the raids are also aimed at acting as a show of power to deter other taxpayers from evading their tax obligations.

Commenting on the targets of the HMRC’s searches, Jason Collins also said that in the past the raids have been conducted primarily on the properties of very wealthy individuals, but now such action is also being taken for middle income professionals.

Photo By: Images Money