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Tax probes take more than year to conclude, finds law firm

ALMOST A QUARTER of tax compliance investigations take more than a year for HM Revenue & Customs to conclude, City AM reports.

Around 115,000 local tax compliance investigations are open at any one time against individual taxpayers and businesses, City firm RPC has found. Of that number, close to 3,800 had dragged on for longer than three years.

HMRC collected £26.6bn from compliance work, it said, while chancellor George Osborne recently pledged a further £750m for tax gathering.

Adam Craggs, head of RPC’s tax disputes team, said: “Regardless of the outcome, those being investigated have to bear the burden of the costs associated with dealing with HMRC and this can entail substantial professional fees.”

HMRC took issue with the figures, and claimed only 2.5% of cases last longer than a year. A spokesman said: “We aim to resolve issues as quickly as possible. But where a case is complex, we will take whatever time is necessary to investigate and resolve it.”

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