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HMRC payroll investigations raise £800m


HMRC collected £819m in additional tax through payroll investigations last year - a 16% increase on the additional tax generated in 2015/16. Investigations into the payrolls of large businesses specifically generated £503m in additional tax in 2016/17, up 31% from £383m the previous year, as the Revenue continued to crack down on organisations that wrongly classify workers as self-employed. Paul Noble, head of tax investigations at Pinsent Masons, which made the information request, said: “HMRC has made no secret of its suspicions of how companies classify their workers. Considering the scale that the gig economy grown to, it is no surprise that it is now under intense scrutiny by HMRC.” Elsewhere, the Independent’s Ben Chu suggests that ministers should focus on dismantling the market power of certain employers to prevent employee abuse in the gig economy. He also says the government, in its response to the Taylor Review on the gig economy last week, has failed to address “the damaging employee-self-employed tax wedge.”

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