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HMRC looking for £250m in tax avoidance funds

Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs is hoping to get at least £250 million in unpaid taxes by cracking down on cases of tax avoidance in the UK.

The taxman says that it’s keen to see results begin rolling in from its accelerated payments scheme. The programme calls for any taxpayers undergoing investigation for tax avoidance to pay any disputed tax revenue up front before their case is determined; individuals and firms that stand accused of making use of a tax avoidance scheme have already been sent notices by HMRC.

Anyone receiving one of these notices have a total of 90 days to make any payments. However, there are quite a few people that have already begun to get in contact with the tax authority; these individuals are arranging payments that will amount to something close to £25 million in disputed tax revenues.

HMRC says that it’s likely that only a very small percentage of taxpayers will be found to actually be engaging in tax avoidance. Still, with the stakes being so high now many people are urging self-employed Brits to find a qualified contractor accountant to make sure there are no tax liabilities that need to be worried about.

Funnily enough, there are some taxpayers that are coming out of the cold and contacting the taxman ahead of any notice being sent out. Whether these are individuals or firms is anyone’s guess, as the Government didn’t specify. However, I think it’s a good sign – the threat of accelerated payments is real enough to get anyone who knows they’ve been playing fast and loose with the rules to pony up the tax payments they should have been making in the first place. I hope this means they have learnt their lesson and won’t continue to engage in these activities going forward, but let’s be honest here: anyone who truly wants to hold on to his or her money will find new and ingenious ways to cheat HMRC out of every penny they possibly can.

I know that sounds a bit cynical but it’s true. As long as there have been people that need to be paid, there have been other people that will go to great lengths to find ways not to pay them. The fact that the Government had to institute an accelerated payments scheme to catch people trying to abscond with their cash is just proof positive of this, if you ask me.


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