Government puts more energy into tax investigations

More people could find themselves the focus of tax investigations after Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said he would fund energy efficiency measures with a new crackdown on tax avoidance.

Speaking on BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show on 1 December about how £1,000 grants to homebuyers and cuts to environmental levies on energy bills would be funded, Mr Osborne said: “The money will come from additional taxes that we will raise from dealing with tax avoidance.”

Meanwhile, the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement on 5 December further emphasised the government’s continuing focus on ensuring that all tax due is paid. The Autumn Statement report said: “A minority of taxpayers continue to seek out unacceptable ways to reduce the amount of tax that they pay. This increases the tax burden on the rest of society, and creates an unfair playing field for businesses and employers.

“The government will therefore continue to take further steps to close down avenues for both tax avoidance and evasion.”

The statement report added that it was raising HM Revenue & Customs’ (HMRC) target for bringing in tax revenue as a result of improved compliance. The report said: “HMRC will now be required to secure a further £3.7 billion in compliance yield by the end of 2015-16.”

With the government’s approach likely to create an enhanced risk of tax investigations – leading to significant penalties and even prosecution – it makes sense for taxpayers concerned about their own tax affairs, and who believe they might become subject to a tax investigation, to seek expert advice on their position.

Our specialists at Taxation-Investigation can provide specialist advice to clarify their situation and on the options available to them, so they can make informed decisions about the best way forward.

We can also assist in mitigating outcomes or presenting a robust defence where tax affairs are in order.