INVESTIGATIONS by taxmen brought in a record £23.9 billion over the last year, according to new official figures.

The total was £3.2 billion up on the previous year and £9 billion up on three years ago and is nearly £1 billion above the target set by Chancellor George Osborne.

HMRC said more than £8 billion has been secured from large business, over £1 billion from criminals and £2.7 billion from tackling avoidance schemes in the courts

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Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke said: "The Government supports the hard-working, honest majority of taxpayers that play by the rules, and is determined to tackle the minority that seek to avoid paying the taxes they owe.

"We set HMRC ambitious targets to increase its yield and the figures published today demonstrate that HMRC is successfully meeting these challenges. It also sends a clear signal that HMRC will pursue those seeking to avoid their responsibilities and will collect the taxes that are due."

It comes after the recent revelations of celebrities benefitting from tax avoidance schemes. Take That's Gary Barlow and two of his band mates have admitted putting money into schemes aimed at people in creative industries. TV presenter Gabby Logan was also revealed as using a tax avoidance scheme.