Number Of Dawn Raids Carried Out By HMRC Down By 6%

Raid Activity Must Increase Significantly If HMRC Is To Meet Ambitious Prosecution Targets Warns Irwin Mitchell


Karen Roberts, Press Officer | 0207 400 8714

The number of raids being carried out by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) into potential tax evasion cases has gone down in the past year, despite government pledges to crack down on such activity, including increasing its targets for the number of prosecutions.

The figures, which were obtained from HMRC by law firm Irwin Mitchell using the Freedom of Information Act, show that whilst the number of search warrants executed substantially increased each year between 2010 to 2013 with 498 warrants executed between April 1st 2010 to 31st March 2011, 731 in the subsequent year and 793 in 2012/13, only 744 warrants were executed in 2013/14, a 6% decrease on the previous year.
Raids are carried out by HMRC when they are conducting criminal investigations into suspected criminal activity. The raids are usually carried out on the suspect’s home and business premises, and the premises of third parties including, sometimes, those of professional advisers.

The numbers grew in 2011/12 when HMRC geared up on its tax evasion crackdown and increased its prosecution targets fivefold. Also, HMRC was given almost £1bn from efficiency savings to ensure taxpayers play by the rules. In 2012/13,  there were 617 people prosecuted for tax evasion, up from 302 the previous year and in excess of the target for that year. But things appear to be slowing down now.

Phil Berwick, Partner* at law firm Irwin Mitchell said:

* non lawyer