Public Accounts Committee

High Net Worth Individuals & HMRC inquiry

Inquiry status: open

Report published 27 January 2017. Awaiting Government response.

Report published

Scope of the inquiry

HMRC has a special unit to collect tax from high net worth individuals who are those with assets of £20 million or more.

While this special unit gives it a better understanding of the tax affairs and behaviours of these taxpayers it needs to evaluate what approaches are the most effective and to understand the outcome it achieves.

National Audit Office report

HMRC estimate that its specialist unit dedicated to collecting tax from high net worth individuals raised £416m from its compliance work with this group in 2015–16 according to a report by the National Audit Office (NAO). This is separate from tax already voluntarily declared by these individuals.

As this specialist unit expands HMRC needs to do more to identify the most effective approaches to maximising the tax revenue paid by the very wealthiest people in the UK. High net worth individuals often have complex tax affairs and they generally have more choice over how they manage their income and assets than the average taxpayer.

It can be challenging for HMRC to understand their tax affairs and assess if there are any risks to address.

Background

This inquiry follows ongoing work conducted on taxation by the Public Accounts Committee, which culminated on Friday 9 December 2016 at the Global Tax Transparency Summit, organised by the PAC. 

A full list of previous taxation inquiries is available on the Taxation page.

Publications

Read all transcripts, written evidence and other material related to the High Net Worth Individuals & HMRC inquiry.

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