So what’s really happening here then?

Just one super rich tax cheat nailed in seven years: HMRC unit probes 2,000 for dodging £2bn by hiding money offshore or in avoidance schemes
A 380-strong taskforce was set up to catch out wealthy tax dodgers
But the HM Revenue & Customs unit has claimed one scalp in seven years
It comes as more than 2,000 people are suspected of dodging £2billion

Might it be that there’s not much tax evasion going on?

11 thoughts on “So what’s really happening here then?”

  1. 380-strong task forces probably aren’t cheap, and presumably they either had to stop doing something for the rest of us, or they were extra staff.

  2. Or also that the wealthy are offering to settle to avoid lengthy, expensive and public court proceedings

  3. Flatcap Army

    There has been a lot of litigation; some people have enjoyed being very gainfully employed as a result.

  4. +1 for Flatcap Army

    People end up in court because one or both parties in a disagreement are twats.

    I’ve never taken a client to court. I’ve threatened them and got 80% of the money and on a couple of grand that’s far better deal than going into court.

  5. Criminal prosecution normally requires a mens rea to cheat. The large majority of the money is in disputed tax avoidance schemes marketed by accountants, so the wealthy tax avoiders are trying to *not quite* cheat. No mens rea.
    As far as Murphy is concerned tax avoidance should be a crime so all tax avoiders have a mens rea and deserve to be jailed (except Richard Murphy who avoided tax on some money by winding up one of his companies). Fortunately Murphy does not yet make laws.

  6. *sigh*

    It’s known as the ‘Hansard extract’.

    An undertaken given, at the start of an HMRC investigation, that if full co-operation and full disclosure are given then HMRC will NOT prosecute.

    This works well. Taxpayers want to co-operate, courts are under less pressure, HMRC resources are used at what they are supposed to be doing. Getting money in.

    Why’s in called the “Hansard Extract”? Because it is quite literally an extract from Hansard from a statement made in the House of Commons. First made on 5 October 1944 as official government policy and subsequently re-affirmed many times since.

    That’s official government policy. If you co-operate, we won’t prosecute.

    Which is why so few cases end in prosecution.

    The idea that there’s only been one ‘scalp’ is utter nonsense There will have been lots of settlements where people co-operated.

    If people want more cases (such as Harry Rednap’s) which achieved nothing then fine, go ahead. No extra tax will be collected, no penalties higher than would be achieved in a civil settlement.

  7. Richie isn’t interested in the money. He wants bodies dangling and twitching from rope, as far as HMRC investigations go.

  8. Pingback: So, yes, Ritchie is ignorant then | Tim Worstall

  9. Re. The Hansad Extract. It has not only been re-affirmed; it has been tightened. Where once it was only a vague statement indicating that IR (as was) was very unlikely to prosecute, now it is an explicit undertaking. It is by far the most common scenario when HMRC investigates suspected fraud. It is not universal, however, and is certainly not an automatic right of a cheating taxpayer.

    And yes, Ritchie is ignorant.

  10. Rob

    And that is literally, hanging – although I am not sure the method of execution would always be hanging. He’d be happy with Electric Chair, Firing Squad, etc..

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