The taxman has extracted an extra ?500m from Britain?s richest people thanks to a special unit set up three years ago to target ?high net worth? individuals.

Martin Randall, the head of HM Revenue & Customs? high net worth unit, said: ?The tax affairs of the richest people in the country are, by their nature, complex, and that?s why we have focused resources on getting their tax right.

?The majority of the wealthiest taxpayers play by the rules, paying the right tax at the right time, but we take action against the minority who don?t. This approach has delivered the result we have announced today.?

He said that when the unit was set up in 2009 it was expected to bring in about ?100m a year but it yielded ?200m in 2011-12, up from ?162m the previous year and from ?83m in 2009-10.

?We have brought in ?55m so far this year,? Mr Randall added. ?These year-on-year revenue increases have enabled us to deliver half a billion pounds in extra tax.?

David Gauke, the Exchequer secretary to the Treasury, said: ?Today?s figures show that HMRC?s high net worth unit is making sure that the country?s wealthiest citizens pay the tax they owe.

?The overwhelming majority of people pay their taxes, so it is absolutely right that HMRC pursues anyone who tries to avoid their responsibility.?

The unit deals with the tax affairs of about 5,000 of Britain?s richest people those with assets of more than ?20m. It employs 380 staff.


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