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HMRC reveals record haul for 2013/2014 tax year

Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs has revealed it made a record haul for the 2013/2014 tax year, largely due to the renewed pressure placed on ordinary taxpayers.

How much is a record haul to HMRC? Try some £845 million. That’s literally shedloads of cash. Well I suppose that depends on how large the taxman’s garden sheds are, but still that’s a bloody fortune compared to the kind of money that ordinary taxpayers like employees, small business owners, and self-employed Brits like freelancers and contractors. To put it into even broader perspective, HMRC only raked in some £609 million in 2012/2013, making last year’s haul something like 39 per cent higher.

According to official figures, the amount of tax revenue the Government has gathered up through investigations of individuals has gone up year-on-year since 2007. From 2012 it’s nearly doubled, showing that the tax authority has absolutely focused its efforts on wringing blood from a stone, mostly from taking closer looks at self-assessment tax forms submitted by contractors, freelancers and other sole traders. It’s for this reason and this reason alone that people much smarter than you or me are recommending the use of contractor accountants to make sure your tax information is as accurate as possible in order to ward off the grasping hands of HMRC.

And make no mistake – the taxman is absolutely increasing the number of investigations its carrying out. Last year, more than 237,000 such enquiries were launched; meanwhile in 2011-2012 there were only 119,000 investigations made. So far HMRC has not divulged how many investigations there were in the 2013-2014 tax year, but I’ll wager that there were even more than last year – or at least just about as many.

For what it’s worth, I’m not going to sit here and say that the Government shouldn’t be getting its cut of the profits its citizens and companies make. I mean it’s only fair – that revenue is used to provide infrastructure support for the entire country, after all – but once again why is HMRC focusing on ordinary taxpayers when it can go after known tax avoidance aficionados like multinational companies? I mean you can’t possibly tell me that the cash the Government is gleaning from normal blokes is anywhere near what it would get from pursuing firms like Amazon, Starbucks or Google, all of which have been known to ferret money overseas in order to avoid paying taxes on it?

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