HMRC Captures More HNW Revenue

Editorial Staff 2 September 2019

HMRC Captures More HNW Revenue

The vast increase in data sharing has led to a large jump in the amount of additional revenue HMRC has been able to track down, figures show.

The British tax authority raised 58 per cent more money from tax probes into wealthy individuals in the 2018/19 financial year than a year earlier, with data-sharing agreements between different countries driving the rise.

HM Revenue & Customs yielded a record £1.9 billion ($2.31 billion) in the latest 12-month period, according to Pinsent Masons, the law firm. (This publication has sought to confirm figures from HMRC and add details.)

Another source of high yields followed the discovery (about three years ago) of “leaked” data known as the Panama Papers, which uncovered a trove of offshore accounts. Investigations into those documents resulted in the authorities retrieving an additional revenue of £190 million, and a further 215 probes are continuing, the law firm said.

“HMRC’s data-led approach is proving incredibly effective – the taxman’s reach has never been longer than it is now. HMRC can ask for data on taxpayers from every tax haven and almost every country in the world,” Steven Porter, Partner at Pinsent Masons, said.

The UK is a signatory to a global pact under which countries exchange information to hunt down alleged tax evaders. The regime, known as the Common Reporting Standard, ironically does not include the US, a country that has led an aggressive move against Switzerland in recent years. CRS has been criticised, however, for endangering legitimate financial privacy. More than 100 nations are involved in the CRS.

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