HMRC uses details from tax returns and other public information databases to identify some 7,500 of the country’s highest taxpayers who are handled by the HNWU. In certain circumstances, HMRC will also handle family members connected to a high net worth individual from within the HNWU.
The public accounts committee (PAC) has published a new report that reveals the startling fact that since the HNWU was established the amount of tax paid by this group has actually fallen by £1 billion. HMRC has enquiries open into about a third of all high net worth individuals at any one time, and is investigating cases with a potential value of £1.9 billion. Since 2012, HMRC has issued 850 penalties totalling £9 million to high net worth individuals; an average penalty of £10,500.
The PAC report put forward a number of conclusions and recommendations including the following:
HMRC also runs a separate Affluent Unit that examines the tax affairs of taxpayers who had wealth of at least £2.5 million and an annual income of £150,000 or more. If you are rich enough to be looked after by one of these specialist teams be aware that you will likely be subject to far greater scrutiny than the average taxpayer.
HMRC confirmed that it had been looking at what further information high net worth individuals could be required to report to help improve its understanding of their wealth.
Visit www.exceeduk.co.uk for more information.