HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has brought in £500 million in extra tax, since a special unit was set up to deal with the tax affairs of the country’s wealthiest people.
The High Net Worth Unit (HNWU), designed to deal with 5,000 of the UK’s wealthiest taxpayers, has exceeded its collection targets since its launch three years ago.
HNWU head, Martin Randall, says the tax affairs of the richest people in the country are, by their nature, complex, and that’s why we have focused resources on getting their tax right: “The majority of the wealthiest taxpayers play by the rules, paying the right tax at the right time, but we take action against the minority who don’t.
“When we set up the unit we expected to bring in about £100 million a year but, in 2011-12, the tax yield from our intervention work hit £200 million, up from £162 million in 2010-11 and £83 million in 2009-10. And we have brought in £55 million so far this year.
“These year-on-year revenue increases have enabled us to deliver half a billion pounds in extra tax to the Exchequer.”
Exchequer Secretary, David Gauke, says these figures show that HMRC’s High Net Worth Unit is making sure that the country’s wealthiest citizens pay the tax they owe: “The Government is committed to a fair tax system where those with the most contribute the most. The overwhelming majority of people pay their taxes, so it is absolutely right that HMRC pursues anyone who tries to avoid their responsibility.”