A specialist section of HMRC known as the High Net Worth Unit (HNWU) collected their highest ever amount of tax last year. HNWU handles the tax affairs of the UK’s richest tax payers, that is the 5,800 people whose assets exceed £20 million. Last year the amount of extra tax collected by the unit reached £220 million, a ten per cent increase from 2011/2012.

How much extra have the HNWU recovered?

HNWU began in 2009 and has successfully increased its proceeds from the nation’s wealthiest taxpayers each year. A total of £665 million additional tax has been collected since the unit was established. This tax is extra to the normal payments received from this group of tax payers and is obtained as a result of HMRC enquiries.

Speaking about the specialist unit, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, explained: “HMRC’s High Net Worth Unit provides the specialist attention they require in ensuring the wealthy pay the tax they owe. This Government has reinvested almost £1 billion in HMRC and expects them to deliver almost £22 billion in 2014-15. Since 2010, the unit has raised £582 million, increasing its revenue year on year which, at a time when the Government is focused on reducing the deficit, is delivering real results for the country.”

Head of the High Net Worth Unit, Martin Randall, said: “The tax affairs of the richest people in the country can be complex as they have large tax bills, and that’s why we’ve 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.”