HMRC’s specialist unit recovered £416m from 6,500 high net worth individuals (HNWIs) with wealth of more than £20m in 2015-16 and trying to track down estimated £1.9bn owed in taxes from potential tax avoidance schemes, according to a report by the National Audit Office (NAO).
According to the public spending watchdog, of the £1.9bn, £1.1bn comes from the use of marketed avoidance schemes. Nearly 15% of British HNWI participated in at least one scheme.
NAO further revealed that HMRC is currently running a formal enquiry on around a third of HNW taxpayers, with an average of four issues being examined per taxpayer.
During 2015-16, HMRC undertook a review and identified an extra 1,000 people with net worth of more than £20m.
HMRC established a specialist unit in 2009 to manage the tax affairs of HNWIs to give it a better understanding of the overall tax position of super and their behaviour. At the start of 2015-16, HMRC considered there to be around 6,500 HNWIs, roughly 0.02% of all taxpayers.
In 2014-15, HNWIs paid over £4.3bn in tax. This included £3.5bn in income tax and national insurance (1.3% of the total revenue for those taxes) and £880m in capital gains tax (15% of all CGT).