Tackling tax avoidance is on the budget agenda

George Osborne delivers his budget later on today and it is expected that he will crack down on tax avoidance. The Chancellor has already indicated that he wants HMRC to raise an additional £7 billion by 2014/15.

The treasury expects to make £1 billion from measures cracking down on the tax breaks the super-rich have been enjoying.

£500 million has already been provided to HMRC so that it can train new tax inspectors and a treasury spokesman has confirmed that big corporations and rich individuals are in the Revenue’s sights.

As well as tackling tax evasion, HMRC is going to focus on the criminal gangs that evade Value Added Tax and duty, and increase the amount of cases it takes to court. Two hundred Revenue employees are also receiving training in self-defence techniques in case fraudsters become violent when inspectors raid premises.

Meanwhile, the debate surrounding IR35 continues. The REC has warned that it might be impossible to improve tax legislation for freelancers and contractor accountants whilst HMRC continues to have such a heavy workload. HMRC doesn’t actually know how much it costs to pursue enquiries into IR35 and it only has minimal data concerning the additional revenue generated by the burdensome tax.

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