HMRC raises £5 billion from fraud investigations

HMRC raised around £5 billion last year through fraud investigations, according to the latest data from the tax authority's Fraud Investigation Service (FIS).

The figures show that over 600 individuals were convicted for their part in tax crimes during 2019. Additionally, in the past year the FIS commenced new criminal investigations into more than 610 individuals.

Commenting on the cases, Simon York, Director of the FIS, said: 'The majority of people pay their taxes but there remains a hard core who have zero interest in playing by the rules.

'These prosecutions clearly show that we'll relentlessly pursue those criminals who would try and cheat honest taxpayers by stealing money destined for vital public services.

'It means we're increasingly taking on ever more complex frauds and well-resourced opponents, including tackling organised criminals who would otherwise undermine our economy and harm our communities.'

Amongst the notable cases successfully prosecuted by HMRC last year was a £60 million fraudulent tax avoidance scheme, which saw two individuals jailed for a total of 14 and a half years.