HMRC to target tax return avoiders

HM Revenue and Customs is set to launch a series of campaigns this year targeting those who have failed to make tax returns and are liable to pay tax at the highest UK rates.

The department will also look at tradespeople working in the home improvement market and those who receive income from buying and selling goods directly or are paid commission.

Using advanced internet search technology, HMRC will look to obtain information on a number of specified, targeted people and businesses.

As part of the campaign, those targeted groups will be provided with a chance to put their affairs in order on the best possible terms.

Commenting on the campaign HMRC’s Risk and Intelligence Marian Wilson said: “Using new technology, we have been able to analyse returns to HMRC covering a range of taxes … to build a picture of where we believe we have taxpayers with missing returns."

HMRC has raised around £500 million from voluntary disclosures and a further £105 million from follow-up activity to date.

This latest campaign comes off the back of successful offshore investment and VAT defaulter campaigns among others.