Posted by Nick Day on 23 Apr 2013

High Net Worth Individuals: HMRC Targets The Wealthy

Figures released by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have confirmed that the taxman is continuing to have success from enquiring into the tax return affairs of the UK’s richest, otherwise known as High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs).

HNWIs come from all walks of life and amongst others can be self-made entrepreneurs, high-ranking corporate executives, the landed gentry who have inherited wealth, and rich non-domiciled individuals.

High Net Worth Unit

The Revenue’s specialist High Net Worth Unit (HNWU), which deals with the tax affairs of 5,800 individuals who each have assets worth over £20 million, increased its yield from tax enquiries by 10% in the 2012-13 tax year, to a record £220 million.

Since this unit was established within HMRC in 2009, it has collected £665 million from tax enquiries into this set of individuals.

HNWU Head, 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.”

It is astonishing to note that the top 1% of earners in the UK accounted for 26.5% of total tax receipts in the 2012-13 year, according to Government statistics.


The HNWU employs almost 400 staff across eight HMRC locations in the UK, who examine the tax returns of the wealthy in minute detail to check for errors that might lead to tax settlements, including interest and penalties.

This heightened level of HMRC activity in this area means it is crucial for HNWIs to make sure they complete accurate annual tax returns each year.  Tax Innovations is here to help you submit accurate tax returns to HMRC but we will also carry out legitimate tax planning to ensure you do not pay more tax than you need to.

Contact us

If you would like any advice regarding the above article or would simply like to discuss other ways in which we could help you or your business, please contact us on 01962 856 990 or


See also…

HMRC Free to Access Taxpayer Bank Accounts

HMRC Task Force Targets South West Property Owners

HMRC to Force Accelerated Payment of Inheritance Tax

Offshore Tax Evasion: An HMRC Briefing

HMRC Taskforce Targets South and South East

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