HMRC collects more than £30 billion worth of extra tax in last financial year

Business News

New figures from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have revealed that the tax authority brought in a total of £605.8 billion in the year to April 2018 – an increase of nearly £30 billion on the previous year.

This 5.4 per cent increase in the Revenue’s tax collection over the previous year includes:

  • £186 billion in Income Tax (2016/17 £173 billion)
  • £130.5 billion in National Insurance Contributions (2016/17 £122.5 billion)
  • £128.6 billion in VAT (2016/17 £124.4 billion)
  • £53.3 billion in Corporation Tax (2016/17 £51.1 billion).

The latest data was revealed in HMRC’s annual report and accounts, which shows that compliance yield went up over the year by £1.4 billion to £30.3 billion

Of the areas of taxation covered in the report, only Capital Gains Tax saw a decrease – falling by 7.1 per cent. This was primarily the result of the reduction in the tax rate from 18 per cent to 10 per cent for non-higher rate taxpayers.

“Every year, through our compliance work, we collect or protect billions of pounds that would have otherwise been lost to the UK through fraud, tax avoidance, evasion and non-compliance,” a HMRC spokesperson said.

“We’ve strengthened our grip on those who deliberately cheat the system and continue to pursue those who refuse to pay what they owe, applying civil and criminal sanctions as appropriate to this dishonest minority.”

Looking at its investigation and tax cases, HMRC recorded a 90 per cent success rate in tax prosecutions, which along with the 78 per cent of successful outcomes for appeals heard in the tribunals and courts, accounted for £37 billion worth of tax being collected.

Looking at its crackdown on offshore evasion, the report said: “Last year, over 140 individuals were the subject of criminal investigation for offences associated with offshore tax evasion, including four arrests and a further six interviews under caution relating solely to the Panama Papers.

“Since 2010, we’ve brought in more than £2.8 billion from domestic and global initiatives to tackle offshore tax evaders. Since June 2012, 26 individuals have been successfully prosecuted, resulting in over 100 years of custodial sentences and 12 years of suspended sentences.”

The report also includes information on HMRC’s digital activities. It reports that the number of taxpayers using digital tax accounts grew throughout the year and that ahead of the introduction of Making Tax Digital for VAT, there are currently around 15 million individuals using personal tax accounts and three million businesses using business tax accounts.

Link: HMRC annual report and accounts: 2017 to 2018