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HMRC tax investigations yield better returns than ever


23 May 2018: With an estimated £24.8bn recovered, HM Revenue & Customs (“HMRC”) last year racked up its biggest successes and highest yields from investigations into large businesses tax compliance, which produced £77 for every £1 spent.

The analysis by law firm Pinsent Masons says this marks the second year running that HMRC’s large business directorate (“LBD”) has achieved the best results compared to its other compliance units.

Additional tax yielded from investigations into large businesses increased by 17% last year, from £66 per £1 spent in 2015/16. The amount of additional tax collected by the counter avoidance directorate also increased over the same period, from £40 to £46 per £1 invested. However, the amount collected by the fraud investigation service (“FIS”) fell, from £30 to £13 per £1 invested.

Pinsent Masons say that HMRC’s LBD figures were likely to have been driven by diverted profits tax, which requires businesses with tax in dispute to pay upfront. HMRC is now looking beyond easy-wins to more complex matters. This change in the complexity of cases being taken up may be why the FIS is experiencing lower returns.

If your company has experienced, or is going through, an HMRC tax investigation and you are unsure whether you can meet the potential tax liabilities, take independent advice as soon as possible. Contact any one of our BRI Business Recovery and Insolvency offices in Northampton, Banbury, Coventry, Hitchin, Milton Keynes, Southampton or Spalding or visit our website at for further details.