Tax Evasion

HM Treasury written question – answered am ar 25 Mawrth 2015.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Pamela Nash Pamela Nash Llafur, Airdrie and Shotts

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many people have been (a) under investigation and (b) taken to trial for tax evasion in (i) the UK, (ii) Scotland, (iii) Wales, (iv) Northern Ireland and (v) England in each year since April 2010.

Photo of Mark Hendrick Mark Hendrick Llafur, Preston

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many people in (a) the UK, (b) the North West, (c) Lancashire and (d) Preston have been prosecuted for tax evasion in the last five years.

Photo of David Gauke David Gauke The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) employs a variety of interventions to tackle tax evasion using both civil and criminal procedures. Investigations that commence as a civil intervention can become criminal and criminal can become civil if the circumstances dictate.

HMRC’s Criminal Investigation Directorate is responsible for criminal investigations into suspected tax evasion. They do not split their reporting data by geographical region but record and report all data as a national statistic. Their methodology for recording data relating to numbers of criminal investigations for the year 2010-11 differs from that used for 2011-12 and onwards.

In 2010-11 the total number of criminal investigations relating to suspected tax evasion was 210. Each investigation included varying numbers of individuals.

From 2011-12 HMRC has recorded the number of individuals under criminal investigation. The number of those subject to criminal investigation for suspected tax evasion offences in each year was as follows:

2011-12 1332

2012-13 3430

2013-14 3905

2014-15 to February 2015 4723

HMRC is not a prosecuting authority. Where cases do proceed to the criminal courts the prosecution is carried out by the relevant independent prosecuting authority. This is the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in England and Wales, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) in Scotland, and the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland (PPSNI).

The number of individuals prosecuted for tax evasion offences in each complete year since April 2010 was:

2010-11 372

2011-12 501

2012-13 739

2013-14 880

2014-15 to February 2015 1009

HMRC is not able to supply a time series of full year prosecutions resulting from their criminal investigations for years up to 2009–10. Complete, comparable data is only available from 2010–11 onwards.

There is no direct correlation between the numbers investigated and numbers prosecuted in any one particular year as not all investigations lead to prosecution and those that do are not necessarily prosecuted in the year that the investigation commenced.

As part of the additional £917M investment HMRC received in the 2010 spending review the number of prosecutions instigated as result of Mass Market Evasion Criminal Investigations (volume crime) has increased fivefold.

HMRC also investigates cases that do not involve tax evasion. These figures exclude cases prosecuted for money laundering, other prohibitions and restrictions and other non-fiscal offences.

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