Taxman scoops £373m in high net worth haul

The taxman’s tax from high net worth individuals has catapulted in the last
year, according to figures obtained by lawyers McGrigors.

HM Revenue & Customs recouped 360% more in tax from enquiries into
wealthy taxpayers over the past five years. Yield last year (2008/2009) was
£373m, compared to £81m a year earlier.

The tax take was made by its Expat and Complex Personal Returns teams, which
have now been replaced by the High Net Worth unit.

Phil Berwick, director of tax investigations at McGrigors, said: “The
significant increase in yield indicates that HMRC view these groups of taxpayers
as fertile ground for enquiries. The complexity of the UK tax system makes it
increasingly difficult for foreign nationals coming to the UK and wealthy UK
individuals to comply with the rules.”

“Many of the foreign nationals and wealthy UK individuals are investment
bankers and hedge fund managers. Many have sought to shelter some or all of
their earnings from the UK taxman by using tax avoidance schemes. These schemes
are now coming under sustained attack from HMRC.”

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