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Budget 2015: HMRC to issue 21,000 more payment demands to tax avoiders

HM Revenue and Customs will issue an extra 21,000 accelerated payment notices in a bid to seize a further £555m in disputed tax.

The Government announced plans to issue the additional notices in today’s Budget.

HMRC began issuing the notices to tens of thousands of individuals in July. They can be issued to anyone who has used an avoidance scheme into which HMRC has an open inquiry.

Previously, if HMRC ordered an individual to pay tax which it believes had been unfairly claimed in tax relief, the individual could appeal the decision through a tribunal and would not have to pay until HMRC won through the courts.

Under the payment notices regime, an individual can still appeal a decision through a tribunal but must pay the tax upfront and will only be refunded, with interest, if they win.

The Treasury predicts the increase in accelerated payments will raise an additional £290m in 2016/17, plus £175m in 2017/18, £70m in 2018/19 and £20m in 2019/20.

BDO partner Dawn Register says: “HMRC is currently winning 80 per cent of tax avoidance cases through the courts, and clawing back funds in the millions, allowing the Chancellor to be more bullish about using accelerated payments to raise further cash.”


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