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HMRC walks off with massive £32 million payday

Between new Accelerated Payments made to the tax authority and other aggressive tax collecting activity, Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs is £32 million richer.

Yes, you read that right – £32 million has been raked in by HMRC recently. Not only that, but the lion’s share of that cash, some £29 million, comes from the new Accelerated Payment regime that the taxman initiated back in August, which makes it a requirement for anyone accused of being involved in tax avoidance pay the amount of money they’re accused of skimping on up front.

This £29 million is actually just the tip of the iceberg, as the cash comes from just a selection of 30 tax avoidance scheme users in August who were informed they had 90 days to put up or shut up so to speak. An overwhelming 99 percent of the cash HMRC was waiting on under the Accelerated Payment regime ended up in Treasury coffers before the end of the deadline period; this means of course that it’s now going to be considered “a successful initiative” by Treasury boffins, leading to an even more concentrated push to expand the programme.

Honestly I think I’m coming around on this whole Accelerated Payment business, simply because I think it’s highly unlikely that any contractors or freelancers were targeted by the investigations. With only 30 cases leading to £29 million in payments, that’s something like just a bit less than a million pound per case – and I’m reasonably sure that no self-respecting contractor in the UK, if they managed to earn that much in a single tax year, would have been so keen to sink it into a tax avoidance scheme. Instead I’m fairly sure that the individuals and firms fingered by the new scheme are likely to be those particularly high-earning bastards that think it’s completely permissible to sink their money into a subsidiary account in some place like Luxembourg because they think they can get away with it.

For what it’s worth, these people are absolutely daft. There’s no way around it any more, not with the Treasury finally being tipped off to how widespread these schemes are. Honestly I hope the taxman goes after each and every one of these bastards who thought they were too rich to have to pay their fair share.

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