The HMRC accounts for 2006-07 suggested on page 49 that the Expat team had increased their yield from enquiries in the year to £102 million, up from £57 million the year before and comfortably beating their target of £80 million.
That's good news. I like tax compliance.
Those who represent the wealthy have spun this for their benefit. The FT reported this as:
Tax bills nearly double for foreign City workers
This is ludicrous reporting. According to Jane Kennedy non-doms in the UK pay 3 billion in tax. And as is obvious, £45 million is not a doubling of that tax bill, just as £45 million is not a doubling of £57 million.
The source of this mis-information is clear. It is the tax profession. The FT reports:
The rise reflects a more aggressive approach by HMRC to stamp out complex tax-avoidance schemes that allow foreign employees to reduce income tax.
Neil Tipping, senior consultant at CCH, a tax and accountancy information group, said: "HMRC is targeting its efforts much more now. It has identified significant shortfalls in tax from non-domiciled workers and has allocated more resources to deal with this."
There's no evidence of this at all. The Expat team is not just looking at non-domiciled people for a start. And if it was then there are 7 million such people in the UK (according to the Office of national Statistics) and as such there's no reason to assume the extra tax comes from the 112,000 who have registered for this status. It's as likely to come from more effective control of the gang-masters who employ large numbers of Eastern European labourers in the fields around my home.
The FT needs to do much better. And it needs to be wise to the misinformation of those with a vested interest in preserving the domicile rule.