The government released a policy paper earlier this year addressing the various tax evasion and avoidance issues currently facing HMRC. One of the areas the policy paper highlighted was dealing with the tax affairs of wealthy individuals.
In an attempt to cut down on fraud and maximize the amount of tax collected the High Net Worth Unit was formed in 2009. So far, they’ve collected more than £1 billion in additional revenue.
The High Net Worth Unit works by utilising specialist teams where an in-depth analysis of tax law is required. The teams cover various areas:
• Finance – for individuals connected to sectors such as investment funds, private financing schemes or equities and banking organisations
• Rising stars – dealing with those whose wealth is increasing very quickly, and who might become high net worth individuals in the next few years
• Business Investment Tax Relief – handling claims for people not living in the UK who want to invest in UK businesses
• Analysis and intelligence – gathering and analysing information on an individual’s behaviour, so we can better understand their interests and financial resources and investments
In 2014 to 2015 the unit is aiming to collect at least £225 million in additional tax revenue. This will be achieved by:
• Continuing to work closely with wealthy individuals and their advisers to reduce the risk of tax avoidance and evasion
• Responding robustly to the minority of people who cheat the system