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Treasury secretary says HMRC is set to raise £4 billion

More than £4 billion could be raised in new tax revenue by the end of the year, thanks to the coalition government’s new schemes to aid Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs in cracking down on tax avoidance.

Chief secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, recently set out the government’s plans to recover money owed to the taxman by closing as many tax avoidance loopholes as possible. The Liberal Democrats estimate that, once these loopholes are all closed, HMRC could collect an additional £9 billion by 2015.

The plans call for HMRC doubling the number of staff that deal with tax evasion in Liechtenstein. Individuals and corporations that shelter their assets offshore will also be targeted by other systems, said Mr Alexander, who added that the government takes it very seriously when a small minority of very wealthy Brits refuse to play by the rules and look for ways to not pay their fair share – especially in tough economic times, when the extra tax revenue is so terribly important.

The government has taken a hard-line stance when it comes to reining in tax avoidance schemes over the past few months, especially when high-profile cases of tax avoidance have been in the press. The revelation of Jimmy Carr’s use of the K2 tax avoidance scheme resulted in a major scandal for the television comedian, with HMRC vowing to step up its investigation of any and all tax avoidance schemes currently in use, regardless of their legality.

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