Jessica Fino 29 Sep 2017 05:17pm

HMRC prosecutes 1,135 tax offenders

HMRC has issued 1,135 prosecutions for tax offences last year, Thomson Reuters has revealed

The Revenue exceeded its target of 1,000 prosecutions in 2015/16, placing emphasis on investigating tax evasions among businesses more than wealthy individuals.

Thomson Reuters said investigations of businesses were usually “bigger ticket” and therefore more efficient for HMRC.

The government has cracked down on tax evaders in recent years, making a £800m investment in compliance and tax evasion work and introducing a cross-agency taskforce to tackle cross-border tax evasion.

HMRC has considerable support in its investigations into the tax affairs of those it suspects of criminal activity,” Thomson Reuters business crime and investigations head Morag Rea said.

“These are increasingly companies, rather than just individuals.”

The 2015/16 result was still lower than in 2014/15, where 1,258 individuals were prosecuted, however it was an improvement from 795 in 2013/14 and 617 in 2012/13.

“While the target for 2016/17 remains at 1000 referrals for prosecution, investigations may be focused on corporate criminality,” Rea said.

“[This is] due to the failure to prevent facilitation offences in the Criminal Finances Act 2017 coming into force on 30 September.”