Tax avoidance measures increase revenue

An extra £2.7 billion in tax was collected by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in 2014-15 thanks to anti-avoidance and evasion measures, according to its Annual Report and Accounts.

The compliance yield, from all anti-avoidance and evasion measures, was reportedly £26.6 billion. Successful prosecution of tax avoiders accounted for £9.79 billion of this. In total, HMRC took £517 billion in revenue for 2014-15, an increase of £12 billion or 2.4% on the previous year.

In the March 2015 Budget, Chancellor George Osborne pledged to bring in an extra £3.1 billion compliance yield, with even higher figures pledged for coming years.

Chief Executive of HMRC, Lin Homer, said: ‘Our strong performance last year provides very firm foundations for the challenges of transforming HMRC into a small, more highly-skilled, digital and efficient organisation and for meeting the Chancellor’s new target of securing £5 billion a year of additional compliance yield by 2019-20’.

However, the National Audit Office (NAO) emphasised that HMRC’s compliance yield took into account new areas which had previously not been included, and the figure is also based on estimates of current and future benefits. Had these factors not been taken into account, the compliance yield would be reduced to £25.2 billion.

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