HMRC making fewer tax avoidance deals

16 Dec 2019

HMRC is entering into fewer agreements that give immunity from prosecution for tax evasion in exchange for paying back taxes and penalties, according to research by law firm Pinsent Masons.

The number of agreements entered into by HMRC under the 'Contractual Disclosure Facility' fell by 10% to 438 in the 2018/19 tax year. This is down from 486 during 2017/18, and 20% lower than the figure of 549 recorded in 2016/17.

Pinsent Masons says that the growing volume of data held by HMRC on taxpayers' offshore savings and investments has reduced its need to enter into plea bargain agreements. The data HMRC now has on overseas savings and investments enables it to more easily build a case against taxpayers and prosecute them, the law firm added.

HMRC has received information on 5.7 million offshore bank accounts held by UK taxpayers since the introduction of the Common Reporting Standard and other data sharing facilities.

Commenting on the findings, Steven Porter, Partner at Pinsent Masons, said: 'HMRC has a growing stack of individuals that it is confident it can prosecute. That means it is less enthusiastic or even willing to offer plea bargain agreements.

'Plea bargain agreements have become increasingly popular with taxpayers in recent years. In the past, only those with very large tax exposures used these agreements, but now those who owe much smaller sums are applying for them.'

Register for our newsletter

Once a month we'll send you an email packed full of essential business news and handy tax tips to help save you money.



34 Boulevard
BS23 1NF

01934 415022


Bath Street
BS27 3AA

01934 743274

Home | Contact us | Accessibility | Disclaimer & Privacy Policy | Help | Site map |

© 2020 Four Fifty Partnership. All rights reserved.

We use cookies on this website, you can find more information about cookies here.

Registered to carry on audit work in the UK by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Details about our audit registration can be found at under the reference C001092613.

"four fifty partnership" is a trading name of Four Fifty Partnership Limited. Registered in England. Company Number 5032008. Registered Office 34 Boulevard, Weston super Mare, Somerset BS23 1NF.

Directors: Richard Acreman BSc CTA, Joy Boswell FCCA FCA, Peter Ison BA FCA and Nick Gravell FCCA FCA.

Professional Indemnity Insurers: Nexus Underwriting Limited 52-56 Leadenhall Street, London EC3A 2EB (Policy Number: BC6210PIA194). The territorial coverage is worldwide excluding professional business carried out from an office in the United States of America or Canada and excludes any action for a claim brought in any court in the United States of America or Canada.