Northern Ireland tax investigations on the rise

The number of people in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK being investigated by the taxman has doubled in one year. Recent figures show that HMRC made inquiries about the tax affairs of 237,215 people last year, compared with about 119,000 in 2011-12.

The number of self-employed people investigated has quadrupled in that time while annual prosecutions have risen sevenfold in three years.

An estimated 10 million people complete self assessment returns, which can run to many pages and are broken down into sections covering a range of incomes and capital gains and experts have warned that people who have made simple errors when filling out self-assessment tax returns are “an easy target” for HMRC.

HMRC has recently toughened its approach to tax collection and has hired an extra 200 investigators in the past three years taking the total to more than 1,600. HMRC were also granted powers to remove money directly from people’s bank accounts in this year’s budget.

Wilson Nesbitt Solicitors based in Belfast, Northern Ireland can assist you with any tax compliance issues and help if you have been selected for a tax enquiry. If you need to talk with one of our tax advisors please contact us by calling 0800 840 9288 or submit a contact form online and we will call you back.