HMRC High Net Worth Unit & Affluent Unit Investigations

At the Summer Budget 2015, HMRC received additional funding to increase compliance yield by £7bn by the end of 2021. The Affluence Unit and the High Net Worth Unit play a key role in reaching this target from HMRC's compliance activities.

Get specialist tax investigation help today: +44 (0)20 7710 3389

The Affluent Unit examines the tax affairs of approximately 300,000 people with an annual income of more than £150,000 and net worth of more than £1 million. Since 2012/13 the Affluent Unit’s headcount has increased by 54%. The High Net Worth Unit deals with the tax affairs of HMRC’s wealthiest individual taxpayers, with a net worth of more than £10 million. Both the Affluence Unit and the High Net Worth Unit match the tax declarations made by wealthy taxpayers against different databases, public records and third party information to identify any inconsistencies. HMRC is using its own information powers as well as liaising with overseas Revenue Authorities to obtain offshore asset information under Exchange of Information powers to assist in its risk profiling. Common characteristics of wealthy taxpayers who have been targeted for investigation are those who:

  • habitually use avoidance schemes;
  • have a low effective rate of Ttax across their total income;
  • have bank accounts in Switzerland who appear to be understating their tax liability;
  • fail to file their self-assessment return on time;
  • avoid or evade Stamp Duty on property purchases; and
  • have UK and offshore property portfolios.

For example, a recent Affluent Unit investigation involved a wealthy individual who was found to owe more than £100,000 tax having failed to declare rental income received in respect of ten overseas holiday homes.

Any investigation by either the Affluent Unit or the High Net Worth Unit should not be underestimated and you should immediately seek specialist representation.

How can we help?

How can we help you?

We have a proven track record in managing HMRC High Net Worth Unit and/or Affluent Unit investigations to best defend a client’s position. Our team will control and manage your investigation and formulate an overall strategy to get you through the process quickly and effectively, minimising the extent of HMRC’s potential enquiry. We will present you with all available options and what the consequences of taking each option will be. Where appropriate, we will tell you how best to challenge any HMRC approach or decision. Should there be any exposure to tax/VAT/duty, interest and penalties we will best mitigate this, thus minimising HMRC publishing details about you on its ‘Tax Defaulters’ website. In the most serious of cases, our involvement has prevented our clients from being criminally investigated or, worse still, prosecuted.

Putting it simply, we provide a discreet and comprehensive service that is tailored to meet your unique needs and protect your interests.

Get in touch
Request a callback or meeting

If you'd like us to give you a call, fill in your details below and we'll email to arrange a good time to speak to our Head of Tax investigations team, Mark Taylor. All communications are in the strictest confidence.

If you'd prefer to speak to our team directly, please call +44 (0)20 7710 3389.

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