17th July 2014
With British celebrities currently under the taxman’s microscope, HMRC’s High Net Worth Unit a specialist division which deals with the tax affairs of the UK’s richest people has announced it brought in £1bn in what it labels “compliance yield”.
The unit, which was set up in 2009, deals with the tax affairs of the 6,200 wealthiest individual customers of HMRC – those with a net worth of £20m or more.
Customers are assigned a relationship manager who has detailed oversight and develops a close understanding of the tax risks among these wealthy individuals.
HMRC claims this maximises voluntary compliance of the majority of customers and enables it to effectively challenge those who do not play by the rules. It said: “The High Net Worth Unit ensures good customer engagement with a focus on influencing behaviour to improve voluntary compliance.”
The compliance figure was revealed by David Gauke, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, as he spoke at HMRC’s annual stakeholder conference.
He said: “HMRC vigorously polices the rules ensuring it collects the tax that is due, and takes tough action against the minority who seek to avoid their responsibilities. This approach is clearly working as HMRC’s High Net Worth Unit has delivered £1bn in compliance yield. This is against targets totaling £894m and is further evidence that the government’s investment of nearly £1bn in HMRC to tackle avoidance, evasion and fraud is paying off.”