By Daniel Hunter

A new report released by law firm Pinsent Masons has revealed that the number of cases of serious tax evasion are at their lowest level in five years.

This finding comes despite many having the perception that it is on the rise. HM Revenue and Customs defines tax evasion as 'serious' when the sum involved is higher than £50,000 or it is worthy of prosecution.

HMRC found evasion cases fell 16% between the two most recent tax years. The report comes as governments have vowed to cut corporate tax evasion, and at the same time Starbucks has announced it will pay £5 million in corporation tax.

"This decline in suspected tax evasion doesn't tally with the rhetoric from some quarters that the British economy is being undermined by a chronic under-collection of tax revenues," said Phil Berwick, a partner at the law firm.

"HMRC has plenty of tools at its disposal to catch tax evaders which serves as a huge deterrent to those considering tax evasion."

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