Tax evasion cases have reached a record high, according to the latest figures by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
The total number of cases the HMRC’s Evasion Management Team dealt with, based on referrals from other parts of HMRC, stood at 3,809 between 2017-18.
This is a rise from 2016-17 when there were 3,216 such cases and 2015-16, when the figure stood at 2971.
These figures refer to the work of HMRC’s Evasion Management Team, which is only one means by which HMRC identifies suspected evasion and therefore does not reflect the entirety of HMRC’s evasion activity.
HMRC said it takes any reports of tax evasion extremely seriously and always thoroughly analyses and investigates any information it receives.
A spokesperson from HMRC said: “HMRC has a very strong track record for tackling evasion and rule breaking of all kinds, generating a record £28.9bn in 2016-17 alone in revenue that would otherwise have gone unpaid.
“We have a range of tools to help us identify suspected evasion and we thoroughly analyse and investigate any information we receive to crack down on the minority who do not pay the tax they owe.”
This comes as a new mandatory disclosure regime is also due to come into force across the EU, under which member states will automatically share any information they receive from tax advisers, in-house counsel and other intermediaries involved in cross-border tax arrangements.