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Summary of the Budget will be added here on 8th July pm.
HMRC taskforce to target wealthy tax cheats
HMRC taskforces are comprised of multiple teams from across HMRC including special investigations, local compliance and criminal investigation units for targeting specific sectors and locations where there is a high risk of tax evasion. The taskforces use local knowledge and risk profiling to help create a list of individuals and businesses to target.
The latest taskforce to be launched by HMRC targets wealthy tax cheats in Northern Ireland. The taskforce is expected to recover almost £18 million bringing together specialist officers from across HMRC to identify wealth indicators and cross reference them with the data HMRC holds about their owners.
HMRC’s Ian McCafferty, Taskforce Lead, said:
'Using the information we hold, we can target people whose lifestyle does not reflect the tax they are paying. It’s not fair that a small minority are living the millionaire lifestyle as a result of them not paying their tax, while the rest of us live within our means and pay our fair share.'
HMRC inspectors will have the full range of civil and criminal sanctions at their disposal. This includes the likelihood of tax dodgers having to repay any unpaid tax, interest and penalties. The worst offenders are likely to face criminal investigation and prison. Earlier this year a separate taskforce used similar HMRC data to identify and prosecute Dr Francis Gerard D’Arcy, a Belfast ear, nose and throat consultant. After a successful prosecution, he was sentenced to four concurrent, two-year jail sentences for evading taxes of close to £500,000.
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a new international financial institution. The purpose of the new development bank is to drive infrastructure projects in transportation, energy, telecommunications and other infrastructure across Asia. The AIIB will do this using a variety of support measures - including loans, equity investments, and guarantees. The UK was the first major Western country to seek to join the AIIB which will also help maximise opportunities for British businesses in the region.
The Chancellor had announced back in March that the UK intended to become one of the founding members of the AIIB. In keeping with that commitment, the Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, Lord O’Neill, signed the founding Articles of Agreement at a formal ceremony in Beijing on 29 June 2015.
The signed Articles of Agreement make sure that key decisions, including on operational and financial policies, can only be made by a super majority of signatory countries. This will ensure that no single country is able to force through decisions that do not have widespread support. The UK has committed to make a capital contribution of £2 billion to the new bank which is expected to become fully operational by the end of the year.