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HMRC recoups £29m in tax avoidance crackdown

HMRC has collected almost £29m in disputed tax revenues through the first series of ‘accelerated payments notices’.

After being granted powers to issue the APNs by the Finance Bill 2014 in July, says it has received more than 99 per cent of the money requested from around 30 tax avoidance scheme users.

The notices can be issued to anyone who has used an avoidance scheme into which HMRC has an open inquiry.

In July, HMRC published a list of 1,172 schemes to which the notices may apply, saying this was to help users of avoidance schemes and their advisers prepare for the payment notices.

Treasury financial secretary David Gauke says: “The high success rate for the first set of accelerated payments notices shows avoidance scheme users are having to face up to the reality that they should pay their tax upfront, like the majority of taxpayers.

“As we move into 2015 and HMRC ramps up the number of notices it sends out, thousands more will get the message that accelerated payments has changed the economics of tax avoidance.”

HMRC director general for enforcement and compliance Jennie Granger adds: “These results show HMRC is making good progress in tackling tax avoidance.” 

MPs criticised HMRC last month for its “unacceptably slow” action against tax avoiders.

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Comments

There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Really??? £29M??? Divided by the thousands of people who received payment notices I would have thought this was a paltry amount.

  2. So – the APNs have been issued because HMRC have “started” enquiries into 1172 schemes. What obligation do they have to complete their enquiries in a timely (i.e. urgent) manner and then establish liability or otherwise at a tribunal or in court before confirming that the amounts are actually due or must be returned ? What compensation will they pay for holding these amounts for so many years ? It’s clear that HMRC and the Treasury regard these sums as “their money” without waiting for due process. I don’t suppose that they’re being put into escrow somewhere until the enquiries are concluded.
    And then they wonder why people don’t trust HMRC or politicians – they don’t understand the differences between tax avoidance (or minimisation) and tax evasion (they probably do, but they’ve now redefined taxation as a “moral” obligation, not a matter of fact and calculation.

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