HMRC claims to have increased its tax after a crackdown on tax avoidance by large businesses and individuals. There has been a significant 15% increase, up £3.2bn on last year, bringing in an astonishing £23.9bn from increased activity in unpaid tax, almost £1billion above the target set by Chancellor George Osborne in his 2013 autumn statement.
This increase has been said to have been accomplished by cracking down on large scale tax avoidance schemes. More the £8billion has been secured from large business, over £1billion from criminals and £2.7billion from tackling avoidance schemes in the courts, said HMRC.
Exchequer secretary to the Treasury David Gauke said “We set HMRC ambitious targets to increase its yield and the figures published today demonstrate that HMRC is successfully meeting these challenges.
“It also sends a clear signal – HMRC will pursue those seeking to avoid their responsibilities and will collect the taxes that are due.”
Mr Gauke said on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: ‘There is a variety of things that have been done to increase the yield, various campaigns, and better use of technology.
‘The staffs of HMRC deserve credit for what they have done… the government has been very much backing HMRC. We put in place a reinvestment programme that has contributed to this increase in yield.’
Prestigious companies such as Amazon, Google and Starbucks who was found last year to have paid no corporation tax on its profits in the UK since it began trading in 1999, caused uproar and enquires for MP’s.
HMRC has stepped up efforts to publicise the results of its tax avoidance work in response to criticism from MPs last December. MPs on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) accused it of not using all the sanctions at its disposal to pursue unpaid tax.
“In pursuing unpaid tax, HMRC has not clearly demonstrated that it is on the side of the majority of taxpayers who pay their taxes in full,” the MPs said.
Richard Murphy then questioned the HMRC figures by claiming the new tax legislation was the result of tax compliance activity was ‘’political fantasy’’ and a PR department figment of imagination.