FT: HMRC took £373m off wealthy in '09 - Spear's Magazine

FT: HMRC took £373m off wealthy in ’09

HM Revenue & Customs collected £373m from wealthy taxpayers last financial year, a 21 per cent rise on the previous year and a 360 per cent increase over five years.

HM Revenue & Customs collected £373m from wealthy taxpayers last financial year, a 21 per cent rise on the previous year and a 360 per cent increase over five years.

A dedicated team of HMRC investigators, recently renamed the High Net Worth Unit, has been focusing on the financial affairs of hundreds of thousands of wealthy taxpayers and foreigners resident in the UK, according to data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by McGrigors, the law firm.

Investigations undertaken by the taxman in the financial year 2004/05 brought in £81m for HMRC and the money collected has risen in subsequent years to a record high of £307m in 2007/08.

The Revenue’s new High Net Worth Unit, set up to look at the tax affairs of these group more closely, has paid particularly close attention to around 50,000 individuals who have high income, significant wealth and complex tax affairs. The unit looked closely at complex property and shares transactions, particularly when opaque structures, such as offshore trusts and companies, have been used.

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