High net worth tax planning
A third of the high net worth individuals (worth at least £20 million) of the UK are being looked at regarding tax affairs by HMRC. There is considered to be around 6,500 HNWs, which is 0.02% of all taxpayers. More and more taxpayers are being scrutinised by HMRC due to the HNW considerations for in depth scrutiny being halved to £10million.
HNW income tax
In previous years HNWs have paid over £3.5billion in income tax and national insurance which added with all other taxes totals to over £4.3billion worth of tax in one year. This number totals 1.3% of total revenue for those specific taxes. Inheritance tax paid by HNWs between 2014 and 2016 amounted to £183million. As so much tax is already being paid, in-depth scrutiny of these peoples tax affairs is likely worth investigating by HMRC. Therefore, tax planning for HNW people is essential.
It is estimated that the formal enquiries of tax are valued at £1.9billion, and £1.1billion is related to marketed avoidance schemes, with it also being estimated that 15% of the wealthiest have used at least one scheme. Tax avoidance schemes are used by more and more famous and wealthy every year. Such as, over 100 BBC staff are being investigated over potential tax avoidance.
HMRC making moves
HMRC are making moves to try and understand and engage with the behaviour of HNWs. Because of these behaviours, it is becoming more difficult for HMRC to ensure that the correct amount of tax is being paid; the specialist team of HMRC is fast gaining a better understanding of HNW people tax affairs and will ensure the correct amount of tax is being paid each year.
Everyone has got to pay the amount of tax that they owe, and HMRC is keen to ensure there is no way around that. An additional £416million was taken in tax from the wealthy last year, which would have gone unpaid if not investigated.
HMRC are focusing on the wealthy taxpayers of the UK. This makes it clear that you need an experienced financial advisor to make sure that this doesn’t happen to you, and so questions from them can be answered with no need to worry.
Tax planning for HNW people is an increasing area of our business so please contact us if you need help in the area.