You are 23 times more likely to be prosecuted for benefit fraud than tax fraud in the UK. Tax crimes cost the economy at least nine times more. It’s a rigged two tier system. One rule for us and another for them.

And its getting even more unjust:

According to the Financial Times:

‘The number of people charged for tax evasion has halved in the past five years, despite political pressure on the UK tax authority to tackle billions of pounds lost to tax fraud each year. A Freedom of Information request seen by the Financial Times, showed that just 548 individuals were charged by HM Revenue & Customs for tax evasion in 2019/20 — down from 1,067 in 2015/16. The FOI, published last month, also revealed that of the 548, just 32 were “wealthy individuals”, those with a net worth of more than £10m. The tax authority has pledged to pursue more high-net worth individuals and corporations, with a target of 100 prosecutions a year. However, no companies were charged with corporate criminal offences in 2019/20. David Sleight, partner at law firm Kingsley Napley who made the data request, described the findings as “staggering”. “The government and law-abiding taxpayers should, once again, be questioning whether HMRC’s criminal investigation strategy is working, certainly in the current climate where every penny counts,” he said. HMRC has estimated that £4.6bn in tax revenue was lost to evasion in 2018/19. This rises to £11.7bn when losses from criminal attacks and the hidden economy are included. The tax authority is able to take civil or criminal action against tax evaders. It tends to reserve criminal action only for the most serious fraud.

George Bull, of advisory firm RSM, said the authority needed more funding to help it fight fraud: “HMRC risks losing support and respect if honest taxpayers face higher tax bills to restore the nation’s finances after coronavirus, while insufficient resources are deployed to effectively tackle tax crime.” “HMRC are doing the best with the resources available to them, the problem lies with the Treasury who do not provide adequate funding for HMRC to properly address the problem of tax crime.” Michelle Sloane, partner at law firm RPC, said that with its limited resources, the tax authority was trying hard to pursue “trophy prosecutions” of large companies at the expense of smaller, less prestigious cases. “[HMRC are] focusing so much resource on these larger, complex cases — which can take many years to reach completion — consequently they’re not opening up as many new investigations as they deal with the backlog,” she said. Mr Sleight also criticised HMRC’s decision to drop its target to prosecute 100 wealthy individuals and corporates a year from its most recent business plan. The pledge was originally included in response to criticism from MPs on the public accounts committee over its prosecutions record.’

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