UK: Soaring number of British expats declare unpaid tax to HMRC.

As published on international-adviser.com, Monday 18 May, 2020.

HM Revenue & Customs’ (HMRC) crackdown on overseas tax evasion has seen the number of people admitting to not paying tax skyrocket in just one year.

According to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, 867 British expats declared they failed to pay owed tax in 2018-19; a 12-fold increase compared to the 66 for the previous tax year.

British newspaper The Telegraph reported that over 40% of those declaring they have not paid tax currently live in the Channel Islands; nearly 10% in the Isle of Man and 6% in Switzerland.

It is not clear how much money the taxman will be able to retrieve from the 867 individuals.

It is believed that HMRC is going to increase its efforts in tackling tax avoidance even further, to make up for the costs of the pandemic.

According to an assessment by the Treasury, the covid-19 outbreak could cost the UK as much as £300bn ($363bn, €335bn).

There have been rumours about the government handing HMRC greater powers to clamp down on tax evasion and avoidance to help cover the soaring bill of lost income and revenues caused by coronavirus.

Additionally, a Treasury document dated 5 May 2020, showed plans for a possible increase in income tax and the potential elimination of the triple lock for pensions.

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