A6.102 HMRC policy
Investigation work has long been part of HMRC's agenda, its importance increasing over the years to combat the purportedly ever-increasing tax gap. In their 2011/12 annual report HMRC reported that in the five years since their creation in 2005, they had almost doubled compliance yields to £16.7 billion. This figure also represented an increase of £2.8 billion over the previous year, 2010/11 and more than double the 2005 compliance yield. In the same report, they highlight that it is part of their strategy to increase additional revenues to the Exchequer by £20bn a year by 2015. There are regular announcements of further resources being devoted to compliance work and it has been announced that HMRC will be able to re-invest £917m, from the savings they make from a Spending Review, to tackle avoidance, evasion and criminal attacks. This level of investment indicates the importance HMRC accord to compliance work. A detailed analysis of the yield from tackling non-compliance, was formerly published annually, in HMRC's Autumn Performance Report, but no such analysis has been published for some years.
HMRC's enquiry and investigation programme is largely based on risk assessment to concentrate resources on areas where it is felt that there is likely to be the most risk of tax loss. Their aim is to achieve a civil, negotiated settlement in the vast majority of cases, incorporating the tax lost, interest and penalties. Even in cases of fraud handled by Special Investigations (see A7.423), HMRC use the Contractual Disclosure Facility
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