In a further sign that HMRC is becoming more aggressive in its approach to tax avoidance schemes 5 people have been charged with an alleged £125 million tax scam where it will said that tax relief available to investors in British films was improperly used.
The prosecution comes against the backdrop of the Government’s stated aim of raising an additional £7billion of tax revenue by April 2015. To this end the UK has entered into a series of Anti Evasion Treaties with the US, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man and a number EU member states, with the aim of increasing the flow of information between international enforcement agencies. Last year saw a 155% rise in the number of search warrants obtained by HMRC and the agency is increasingly paying informants for information that it can then use against those it suspects of tax evasion. The new enforcement landscape is expected to see a fivefold increase in the number of criminal prosecutions by 2015, with those who design, promote or invest in unlawful schemes being perhaps most at risk.