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Tax Avoidance Enablers: HMRC Resources

Volume 655: debated on Tuesday 5 March 2019

16. What steps he has taken to ensure that HMRC has adequate (a) powers and (b) resources to investigate tax avoidance enablers. (909587)

The Government take a very serious view of those who enable or promote tax avoidance. We have taken a number of measures to clamp down on them, including penalties of up to £1 million.

In 2017, the Government introduced the Criminal Finances Act to great fanfare, claiming that they were clamping down on the facilitators of tax-dodging. Will the Minister please confirm how many prosecutions have been brought for the new offence of failing to prevent tax evasion?

We have taken action against enablers and promoters, and the cumulative amount of time in prison that has resulted from those particular actions is in excess of 100 years.

22. HMRC has 2,000 fewer staff today than it did on the day of the referendum. Will the Minister explain the impact of HMRC cuts on the delayed timetable for the implementation of the UK’s future customs regime? (909593)

I am confident that HMRC will be ready for the outcome of the EU negotiations, whatever that outcome is. We have taken on over 4,000 additional staff to ensure that we are ready, and we have of course invested £2 billion in additional funding since 2010 to ensure that HMRC can operate effectively.