The High Net Worth Unit was set up in 2009 to deal with the personal tax affairs of about 5,000 of the UK’s richest people – those with assets in excess of £20m. And it has been very busy over the last three years, poring over ledgers and peeking through loopholes to ensure that the taxman gets every penny that's rightfully his.
HMRC has now reaped the fruits of the HNWU's endeavours. Some £500m more tax has been paid by these super-wealthy since the Unit was established. Although, considering the UK racks up £446,575,342 in additional debt every day, that figure is a drop in the ocean in real terms.
Nevertheless, HNWU head Martin Randall seems pleased. 'When we set up the unit we expected to bring in about £100m a year,' he says, 'but, in 2011-12, the tax yield from our intervention work hit £200m, up from £162m in 2010-11. And we have brought in £55 million so far this year.'
That's not a patch on the £140m that Vodafone avoided paying earlier this year though, eh chaps?