The recent naming and shaming of major companies found to be evading UK tax liabilities has been met with a determined stance by HMRC who have vowed to call a halt to the tax loopholes and tighten corporation tax laws. The tax authorities local offices reported a suspected 2,888 cases of tax evasion which includes well-known names such as Starbucks, Amazon, and eBay.
Last year the government invested £77m to create specialist teams as part of a scheme to combat tax evaders in the UK. The tax man was also given more powers to impose penalties and expedite the legal process to bring more claims to court. As a result HMRC targeted multinational corporations and wealthy individuals that invest in offshore accounts such as hedge funds in the Cayman Islands.
When the new powers were first introduced, HMRC went after self-employed companies such as solicitors, plumbers, doctors, retailers, restaurants and the motor trade and estimate they can recover an additional £22bn of revenue for the tax year 2014/15. Investigations into the corporate sector has revealed at least the UK treasury has missed out on at least £25bn including £500m stashed away by RBS and Lloyds, both of whom are part owned by the tax payer.
Arranging tax affairs
As a result of the recent success in uncovering multinational corporations shifting funds to avoid paying tax in the UK, HMRC´s “centre of excellence,” is looking to assemble data about businesses lower down the revenue ladder. All companies are therefore urged to bring their tax affairs up to date or run the risk of being handed a heavy fine. In severe cases, tax evaders will be imprisoned.
On top of HMRC´s list are partnerships that have been using long-running tax avoidance schemes. Mike Eland, the Director General for Enforcement and Compliance, warned “This is not an empty threat – HMRC can and will track you down if you choose to break the rules.”
Legal tax benefits
There are however, legal rules that mean companies and individuals are entitled to tax benefits. This can be anything from business tools and vehicles used for commercial purposes to franchises and loans. Knowing where your business can save money on tax benefits can give you a platform to grow financially.
Many of the tax laws imposed by HMRC can be particularly complex. In general terms, what they give with one hand they take away with the other and if you are not up to speed with all the information it could land you in deep water with the tax collection agency and is likely to include a fine of at least £100.
If you need tax advice speak to qualified professionals that will ensure you are paying you full tax liabilities, but who can also advise you of tax liabilities you can legally avoid. Taxaccolega are specialists in tax and business so call us today on 0800-0235-234 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and find out how you can legally save money on your tax bill.