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HMRC nets £373 million in tax avoidance crackdown

It has been revealed that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) netted a record £373 million last year in a crackdown on so-called tax avoidance schemes. This was a 21% increase on the previous year and bodes well for the current year with the UK government working around the clock to close various tax loopholes and attack various overseas "tax havens".

There is no doubt that the UK authorities have specifically targeted tax avoidance schemes over the last two years as the need to replenish the government's coffers continue to rise. It will be interesting to see how this year pans out with a number of new initiatives already announced and many wealthy UK residents awaiting backdated tax demands from the Revenue.

Interestingly much of the money expected to be raised this year will come from retrospective rulings which could see former "legal" tax reduction and tax avoidance schemes deemed invalid and result in literally hundreds of millions of pounds in additional taxation. Whether it is morally or legally correct to use retrospective legislation is a question which has been put to the courts on numerous occasions over the last few months although more often than not the rulings have gone in favour of HMRC.

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