17th July 2015
A crackdown on tax dodgers netted HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) £26.6 billion in revenue last year.
The 2014/15 annual accounts for the taxman show it secured £3 billion more from its tax avoidance and evasion clampdown than it did in 2012/13 when it managed to claw back £24 billion.
The boost to the taxman’s coffers comes from the ‘accelerated payments’ scheme that was brought in last year and orders those using tax avoidance schemes to pay the disputed amounts owed 90 days before HMRC takes them to court. The money is then returned if the scheme is proven to be legitimate.
HMRC handed out 10,000 accelerated payments notices that generated £768 million. Another 64,000 notices are expected to be served on individuals and businesses.
The scheme has generated far more than HMRC predicted. It said it would receive £210 million accelerated payments by March 2015 but in fact brought in £596 million.
It had to refund £28 million after the legal challenges were complete.
HMRC said: ‘We have strengthened our grip on those who deliberately cheat the system through fraud, avoidance and evasion and by refusing to pay what they owe.
‘We apply the most appropriate civil and criminal sanctions against this dishonest minority.’