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HMRC to seize £7bn in tax avoidance crackdown

HM Revenue & Customs is set to issue payment notices worth £7.1bn to tens of thousands of people in a crackdown on tax avoidance.

In the Budget, the Government confirmed HMRC will be given extended powers to allow it to issue payment notices to anyone who has used an avoidance scheme into which HMRC currently has an open inquiry.

As reported by Money Marketing last month, this is an extension of an existing proposal for HMRC to be able to issue payment notices to anyone who has used an avoidance scheme that a court has ruled against.

The Government has confirmed the proposals will go ahead and that HMRC will issue £7.1bn in payment notices, based on the number of court cases HMRC expects to win. It estimates the total value of tax under dispute by HMRC relating to marketed avoidance schemes is £14bn, associated with some 65,000 taxpayers.

The proposals will provide a benefit to the Treasury of £340m in 2014/15 and a further £1.2bn in 2015/16.

The Government is also proposing to strengthen HMRC’s powers to recover tax directly from debtors’ bank accounts, including Isas.

HMRC will focus on those who owe at least £1,000 and have been told to pay multiple times. The Government will consult on the measure shortly.

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