HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have tasked a new team of 200 investigators and specialists, the ‘Affluent Team’, with identifying wealthy tax avoiders.
One of the first targets of the team is wealthy individuals who own land and property abroad. HMRC is applying sophisticated data mining techniques to publicly available information in order to identify people who own property abroad. Risk assessment tools will then be applied to highlight those who do not appear able legitimately to afford the property, as well as those who do not appear to be declaring the correct income and gains from the property.
The team will also focus on commodity traders and people with offshore accounts. It will work in tandem with existing units across HMRC, including those that deal with corporate entities, residence and domicile issues, and trusts and estates.