Tax dodge drive reaps billions

HMRC hauled in £27.9 billion in extra tax receipts from investigation of tax avoidance and fraud in its latest financial year, up £9 billion from the figure three years ago.

The number of successful prosecutions also rose sharply.

The anti-avoidance drive has been astonishingly successful, but some recent estimates suggest there is still £40 billion of UK tax that is avoided or evaded, so HMRC’s campaign is not going to stop any time soon.

However, it is worth remembering that the focus for the attack is “aggressive tax avoidance”. Legitimate tax planning founded on ordinary financial products (such as ISAs and pensions) could be seen as “boring” by comparison with some of the “racier” schemes that have been promoted in the past but given that HMRC focus is on aggressive schemes we can reasonably conclude that “boring is the new exciting”!.