Tax Avoidance

Treasury written question – answered on 8th September 2014.

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Photo of Lindsay Roy Lindsay Roy Labour, Glenrothes

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress he has made on tackling tax avoidance in the UK; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of David Gauke David Gauke The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

This Government is committed to taking strong and robust action to tackle tax avoidance. Since April 2010 the Government has made 42 changes to tax law, closing loopholes and introducing major reforms to the UK tax system. These include the introduction of a General Anti-Abuse Rule and strengthening the Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes regime.

Through a tougher monitoring regime for high-risk promoters of tax avoidance schemes, backed up with penalties, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is taking significant action to discourage people from entering into expensive avoidance schemes which, in the majority of cases, don’t work. We legislated for Accelerated Payments in this year’s Finance Act, which will enable HMRC to collect disputed tax upfront, along with the new High Risk Promoters regime.

We have invested £1 billion over this spending review period to tackle tax avoidance and evasion. HMRC have secured over £77 billion in compliance yield since the beginning of the Parliament; £31 billion of which was from large businesses, and £850 million of which was from High Net Worth individuals. Around 80% of the avoidance cases heard in the courts are being won by HMRC, with 30 wins protecting £2.7 billion of tax in 2013/14.

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