HMRC using 'all means' to rake in VAT during enquiries

Value Added Tax has emerged as increasingly lining the taxman’s pockets when he comes to investigating contractors and other small business.

Obtained by a Sunday newspaper, new figures show that VAT accounts for 49 per cent of the extra tax take from investigations by HMRC into small and mid-sized firms.

This represents a small but steady increase, as until now the additional tax the Revenue’s compliance teams had yielded via VAT was 45 per cent.

But the new data for the tax year to April 2017, produced by tax investigations firm PfP and seen by the Mail on Sunday, indicate that the actual amount of extra VAT is not increasing.

Previously, HMRC netted an additional £3.5billion from firms breaking VAT rules. For the latest tax year though, the extra VAT is reportedly just shy of this -- £3.4bn.

However, the “fruitful” results in terms of additional VAT revenue that the Revenue has raked in mean the department will “likely” retain its focus on non-large companies.

 “The taxman is prepared to use all means”, PfP’s Kevin Igoe reportedly added, in an alert to smaller businesses. “[The] Connect database and taskforces…as well as more aggressive tactics such as Accelerated Payment Notices and property raids.”

Profile picture for user Simon Moore

Written by Simon Moore

Simon writes impartial news and engaging features for the contractor industry, covering, IR35, the loan charge and general tax and legislation.
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