To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on his policy towards the use of prosecution as a means of dealing with tax evasion.
[holding answer 1 December 1987]: The law provides for money penalties to be the normal punishment for tax evasion. However the possibility of prosecution is an important deterrent to the spread of tax evasion. The Inland Revenue therefore considers prosecution where a fraud is particularly prevalent or where a case is a very serious one of its type.
To ask the Chancellor of the Excehquer if he will publish in the Official Report the number of full-time equivalent posts dedicated solely or mainly to the detection of tax evasion.
[holding answer 1 December 1987]: 3,264 Inland Revenue officers, measured in staff unit equivalents, were assigned solely or mainly to investigation work at 31 March 1987.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give details or estimates of the amounts of unpaid tax recovered by the Inland Revenue for each year since 1979 from (a) persons prosecuted for tax evasion and (b) persons dealt with but not prosecuted for tax evasion.
[holding answer 1 December 1987]: The total yield—tax, interest and penalties—due from Inland Revenue investigations for each year since 1979 is as follows:
|Year ending 31 October||£ million|
Year ending 31 March
It is not possible, except at disporportionate cost, to distinguish amounts relating to prosecution cases from those relating to non-prosecution cases. Nor is it possible to state how much of the amount due was ultimately recovered.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give details or estimates of the number of persons dealt with by methods other than prosecution for tax evasion since 1979.
[holding answer 1 December 1987]: The Inland Revenue figures do not distinguish between cases of outright fraud and other cases which have been investigated. Nor are the figures for the number of individuals concerned available. However, the number of cases where additional tax has become due as a result of an investigation is as follows:
|Tax Office and Enquiry branch investigations|
|Number yielding extra tax only||Number involving interest, or interest and penalties (in addition to tax)|
|Year to 31 October|
|Year to 31 March|
|PAYE audit investigations|
|Number where only current year adjustments necessary||Number where adjustments of earlier years necessary|
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give details of estimates of the amount of tax due but not recovered from persons known to be involved in tax evasion since 1979.
[holding answer 1 December 1987]: This information is not held centrally.