The taxman has prosecuted against more individuals suspected of tax dodging – whilst still being accused in the press of letting off the hook the corporate giants.
The number of court cases HMRC has brought for illegal tax evasion last year increased by almost a third.
At the same time the revenue has been accused of “hypocrisy” for allowing multinational corporations to pay small bills, while hammering individuals and small businesses.
During 2013/14 the taxman prosecuted 795 individuals it suspects of wrongdoing in an effect to close down Britain’s £35 billion annual tax gap. That is 615 more than the previous year.
The figure is considerably higher than the 302 cases it won in 2011/12. Due to the length of process in each case, many take months to process, it is not currently known as to how many of these the revenue will have won until taken into the tax year.
HMRC will be granted highly controversial powers that will allow it to avoid individual and corporate bank accounts directly to get control of funds where it considers wrongdoing has occurred.
Unfortunately, a history of mistakes and blunders by revenue officials have led to fears that the new powers could lead to innocent people having their savings taken.
The increasing volume of criminal prosecutions is one of the measures by which HMRC now judges it’s success.
A HMRC spokesman said “following the Government’s spending review commitment to invest an additional £1 billion into HMRC to tackle evasion, avoidance and fraud, criminal prosecutions have increased five fold since 2010 and are on target to reach 1,165 prosecutions by 2015”.
“We are determined to bring to justice the small minority who are prepared to cheat the tax system, honest taxpayers rightly expect no less”.