HMRC expands Affluent Unit increasing tax investigations

A report published by The Times shows significant growth in HMRC’s Affluent Unit which investigates those with an annual income of more than £150,000, or a net worth of between £1 million and £20 million. The unit, which is now focusing on professionals and entrepreneurs, has taken on 68 new inspectors in recent months, bringing the total to 395.

Meanwhile, HMRC’s High Net Worth Unit now investigates individuals with wealth greater than £10m after having reduced its entry criteria by £10m. According to reports, the tax office is targeting 100 criminal prosecutions a year from this group, rather than the previous target of two a year.

In other news, a report has shown that a switch in focus from larger firms to SMEs by HMRC has seen the taxman net an extra £468 million. Larger companies are better positioned to employ specialists who can close down or limit HMRC investigations, whereas SMEs may have a lack of financial experience and be adversely affected by time and budgetary constraints.

Whilst the future remains largely uncertain for UK SMEs, businesses must ensure they have the right structures in place to respond quickly to the changing market conditions. Our SME business experts at Beavis Morgan are able to guide you on your strategy, help you navigate the challenges that lie ahead, and assist in making those all-important business decisions that will have the greatest impact on future success.

If you would like to know more about how we can help you and your business, please contact Steve Govey or your usual Beavis Morgan Partner.

If you are concerned about a tax enquiry into your affairs, worried that you may have possibly under-declared or, worse still, are you already under enquiry, our tax specialists, some of whom are former HMRC Inspector of Taxes, are well versed in dealing with all types of tax issues. We are also readily available to oversee HMRC disputes on your behalf, as well as to represent clients in appeal proceedings before the Tax Tribunal. In some situations we can also offer professional fee protection insurance, so the costs are covered in whole or in part.