HMRC collects more than £30 billion worth of extra tax in last financial year

George Hay Chartered Accountants

New figures from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have revealed that the tax authority brought in a total of £605.8 billion in the year to April 2018 – an increase of nearly £30 billion on the previous year.

This 5.4 per cent increase in HMRC’s tax collection encompasses:

  • £186 billion in Income Tax (£173 billion in 2016/17)
  • £130.5 billion in National Insurance Contributions (£122.5 billion in 2016/17)
  • £128.6 billion in VAT (£124.4 billion in 2016/17)
  • £53.3 billion in Corporation Tax (£51.1 billion in 2016/17)

The latest data was published in HMRC’s annual report and accounts, which shows that compliance yield increased by £1.4 billion to £30.3 billion.

Of the areas of taxation covered in the report, only Capital Gains Tax saw a decrease – falling by 7.1 per cent. This was primarily the result of the reduction in the tax rate from 18 per cent to 10 per cent, for non-higher rate taxpayers.

“Every year, through our compliance work, we collect or protect billions of pounds that would have otherwise been lost to the UK through fraud, tax avoidance, evasion and non-compliance” a HMRC spokesperson said.

“We’ve strengthened our grip who deliberately cheat the system and continue to pursue those who refuse to pay what they owe, applying civil and criminal sanctions as appropriate to this dishonest minority.”

Looking at its investigation and tax cases, HMRC recorded a 90 per cent success rate in tax prosecutions, which along with the 78 per cent of successful outcomes for appeals heard in tribunals and courts, accounted for £37 billion worth of tax being collected.

In respect of its crackdown on offshore evasion, the report said: “Last year, over 140 individuals were the subject of criminal investigation for offences associated with offshore tax evasion, including four arrests and a further six interviews under caution relating solely to the panama papers.”

“Since 2010, we’ve brought in more than £2.8 billion from domestic and global initiatives to tackle offshore tax evaders.”

The report also includes information on HMRC’s digital activities. It reports that the number of taxpayers using digital tax accounts grew throughout the year and that, ahead of the introduction of Making Tax Digital for VAT, there are currently around 15 million individuals using personal tax accounts and three million businesses using business tax accounts.

Sarah Dixon, Tax Manager at George Hay, said: “HMRC are as intent as ever when it comes to weeding out those individuals who deliberately neglect to pay the tax that they owe, evidenced by the amount of tax the authority seems to be clawing back.”

“Unfortunately, though, as a result of HMRC’s efforts to identify where tax is being lost, innocent businesses and individuals can sometimes find themselves facing an unexpected tax investigation or enquiry.”

“In the event that you find yourself subject to a tax investigation, you should obtain professional advice at the earliest opportunity.”

Here at George Hay we have years of experience when it comes to dealing with both personal and business tax enquiries and investigations, helping our clients to reach a satisfactory conclusion and leaving them with peace of mind when it comes to their tax affairs. To discuss your circumstances in more detail, call us today on 01767 315010.

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