HMRC income from investigations reaches record high of £39 billion – 22% jump in a year

Our expert tax team have found data that shows HMRC collected a record high of over £39 billion from tax investigations in the year ended 31 December 2023, up 22% from £32 billion in 2022.

Nikhil Oza, corporate tax partner from our London office, says HMRC has stepped up its investigations into areas where it believes it is missing out on large amounts of unpaid tax, including:

  • Ultra-high net worth individuals suspected of underpaying tax - such as the Bernie Ecclestone investigation that brought in £653 million in tax and penalties
  • Cryptocurrency traders not properly declaring their gains for tax purposes – where it has started a new campaign of enquiries 
  • Residential landlords not declaring income properly – where its Let Property Campaign is pushing landlords to confess tax evasion
  • Large multinational businesses being too aggressive with ‘transfer pricing’ - cross-border payments between companies in a group than can be used to reduce corporation tax bills in the UK

Nikhil Oza said: “HMRC is getting tougher and cracking down on unpaid tax across the board – and these figures show it’s working.”

“Any business or individual with unpaid tax needs to be aware that their chances of getting away with it are lower than they’ve ever been. HMRC is deploying more technology, including AI to catch them and the government is happy to fund more investigations.”

“Taking professional advice then coming clean to HMRC will virtually always result in a better outcome than hoping HMRC doesn’t spot your non-compliance."

HMRC compliance yield (£ billion)

graph to show the HMRC compliance yield increase from 2022 to 2023, from 32.3 million pounds to 39.2 million pounds

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