HM Revenue & Customs is to spend £1bn on enforcement and compliance this year to cut tax avoidance and evasion by £2.4 billion, reports The Times.
Less than a week after the Chancellor proposed a rise in income tax to 50% for the highest earners, the Revenue said that it would spend a quarter of its £4bn budget on catching tax-dodgers.
Lesley Strathie, who took over as the HMRC's chief executive and permanent secretary five months ago, said that the organisation would relentlessly pursue those who bent or broke the rules.
The clampdown comes after a change of tack by the Revenue's prosecutors last year. In its "litigation and settlement review" the Revenue promised to take more people to court to recover tax instead of cutting deals in out-of-court settlements. With companies and individuals prepared to defend themselves in court, such a strategy has proved expensive. Full story...
BP is cutting spending on new projects after suffering a 62% drop in profits following the slump in the oil price, according to The Guardian.
The firm reported it made a profit of $2.387bn (£1.64bn) in the first three months of this year, down from $6.231bn a year ago. BP blamed the fall in the price of oil, which fluctuated between $35 and $50 a barrel during the quarter, while a year ago a barrel cost more than $100.
The company is now planning to spend less on finding and developing new oil and gas reserves. It warned today that it will spend less than $20bn on capital expenditure this year, down from an earlier target of $20bn-$22bn. Full story...IFAonline
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