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HMRC Tax Investigations: £89 Million Recovered through COP 9

Published by Chirag
Published Date: January 30, 2024

In the last year, HMRC tax investigations have intensified, conducting 1,091 investigations under COP8 and COP9. The results were significant, with a total revenue of £161.4 million, comprising £89 million from investigations and £72.4 million from COP8 probes.

Tax Investigations Results

These HMRC tax investigations targeted severe cases of tax evasion, with 417 falling under COP9, while an additional 674 were under COP8, focusing on individuals manipulating tax bills through avoidance schemes. The effectiveness of these efforts indicates HMRC's commitment to addressing serious tax offences.

HMRC Tax Investigations

Cooperation with these HMRC tax investigations is portrayed as the "last chance" for individuals involved in tax evasion or avoidance. While it offers protection from criminal prosecution, there remains a potential for significant civil penalties, as highlighted by Sophie Warren, tax manager at Pinsent Masons.

Legal Implications and High-Profile Cases

Warren emphasised the critical nature of these tax investigations, citing high-profile cases like Dominic Chappell, who faced an inquiry resulting in a six-year jail term for evading £584,000 in taxes. Bernie Ecclestone settled an investigation case involving £400 million in an offshore trust, agreeing to pay £650,000 and pleading guilty to tax fraud.

HMRC Tax Investigations

Penalties and Tax Gap

Penalties in these HMRC tax investigations are determined by the conduct leading to tax evasion, with the highest penalties reserved for those holding offshore accounts. The UK's tax gap in 2021-22 reached £35.8 billion, with £4.7 billion attributed to tax evasion—an increase of £1 billion from the previous year.

HMRC's robust approach to serious tax offenses underscores the need for individuals to seek legal advice promptly when under investigation, given the substantial consequences that may follow.

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