In case you didn’t see it last night, I would recommend taking a look at Channel 4’s latest documentary featuring HMRC, ‘Catching the Tax Dodgers’.
Whilst tax and tax dodgers have hardly been out of the news in recent years, the public perception is very much along the lines of the wine importer, featured in the programme, evading £46m or multi-nationals using tax avoidance techniques, some perfectly legal.
What the programme also showed, however, is that HMRC are now pursing criminal prosecutions for much lesser offences, such as non-payment of VAT, with dramatic consequences.
Additionally, a small insight was given into HMRC’s ‘Connect’ computer system which brings together a myriad of different sources relating to one individual taxpayer, with the effect that anomalies are more easily identified. Indeed, since its inception, the number of enquiry cases initiated by the system have increased, so that now it generates around 85% of all enquiries. Especially in relation to non-disclosure of offshore assets and income, a case which was also featured in the programme where one individual ended up owing HMRC £¾m, the Connect system does back up HMRC’s assertion that the net is closing in!
So with HMRC taking an ever increasing harder line and enquiries being more accurately targeted, it becomes more and more important to ensure all returns, be they business or personal are prepared using the greatest possible care. This is where we can help!
Contact Russell Eisen on 020 7600 5667 for more information