The tax investigations partner at national audit, tax and advisory firm Crowe Clark Whitehill said: “Fear of prosecution really motivates disclosure of tax irregularities.
“However, it seems HM Revenue & Customs rarely opens such investigations, fosusing attention and valuable resources on low-level, negligent and accidental tax cases.
“Given the huge sums of money involved in deliberate fraud cases and aggressive tax evasion strategies, this suggests that HMRC is concentrating on the wrong area.”
His comments came as the firm conducted a survey among professionals, the results of which were published in a 16-page study, Is There Light at the End of the Tunnel?
The Crowe Clark Whitehill survey showed that only 16 per cent of respondents have experienced a tax fraud investigation under the Contractual Disclosure Facility, HMRC’s normal process for investigating fraud.
Kevin White, head of UK financial planning for national wealth manager deVere UK, said: “One of the biggest challenges today is that people need a more diversified pot of money than ever before, especially when the focus is retirement.
“Taking control of one’s long-term financial security is ultimately a personal responsibility, therefore having quality financial advice has never been more important, as both wealth creation and wealth distribution have to be done in a tax-efficient manner.”