The automotive sector has seen the highest increase in underpaid taxes, following a 143 per cent year surge.
According to financial investigation firm PfP, the amount the HMRC thinks the industry has avoided paying has gone up from £182.3m to more than £444.2m.
This will lead to increased industry scrutiny over the next year.
But automotive stakeholders will not be the only ones subjected to additional investigations, PfP added, as tax probes will also involve the oil and gas industry as well as real estate.
Real estate’s underpaid taxes have increased from £471m to £493m, while oil and gas has reported an 11 per cent jump.
“HMRC follows the money,” said PfP’s managing director Kevin Igoe. “It goes after where it thinks the most tax is avoided and where it thinks it has cases it can win easily.”
“We’re expecting a continued pressure on retailers from HMRC.”
City A.M. however understands the figures do not mean any specific sector is under specific scrutiny.
“Tax under consideration is not tax owed or unpaid. It is an estimate of the maximum potential additional tax liability in each case before we have carried out a full investigation of the specific facts or analysis of relevant law, spans multiple years, and is used by HMRC to manage the deployment of resources based on risks to revenues,” said a HMRC spokesperson.
“The true tax position is only known after the facts and legal issues have been fully investigated, when the additional tax due may turn out to be less than the tax under consideration.”