Financial Secretary meets HMRC’s elite crime fighters
The Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Mel Stride, has paid a visit to the HRMC headquarters, underscoring his commitment for the UK to lead the fight against organised tax fraud and evasion.
Last year, due to the work of HMRC's analysts and investigators, over 1,000 individuals were charged for criminal offences, 835 people were convicted of fraud related offences, almost 650 years’ worth of custodial sentences were handed out and over £5 billion revenue was protected, the HMRC said in a statement.
The office outlined that it has increased its investigations into the country’s wealthiest offenders six-fold in the last three years.
Earlier this week, the HMRC updated its offshore tax compliance strategy as part of the Spring Statement.
The refreshed strategy sets new objectives to use data from international collaboration to help taxpayers get their tax right and respond appropriately to those who don’t pay what they owe. This builds on the UK’s substantial progress in tackling offshore non-compliance, including offshore tax avoidance and evasion, since the last strategy in 2014.
Commending the team and the role they play in protecting the public purse, Mr Stride emphasised the importance of the job.
"The work you do is vitally important, it makes our country a fairer place to live and do business and it provides the revenue for vital public services," Mr Stride said.
"I want the UK to remain at the forefront of fighting serious organised crime, and want us to be the global leader. HMRC’s fraud investigators show how, with cutting edge technology and the right staff, we can tackle global tax fraud, setting an international example to other countries in this crusade," he noted.
During the visit, the minister was walked through live investigations that have protected vital public funds, and heard about how HMRC is using new capabilities such as cutting-edge digital forensics to fight back against targeted attacks on the tax system.