In a letter seen by ITV News, a senior Cabinet minister has warned hospital trusts about using schemes to avoid paying tax.
After months of terrible headlines about companies and rich individuals not paying their fair share, it was the taxman's turn to talk.
Chancellor George Osborne has said that he expects to unveil tax breaks for married couples as soon as his Autumn Statement.
HM Revenue and Customs has defended its recorded in the wake of a parliamentary report that has accused it of holding back on using sanctions against multinational companies, while pursuing small businesses and individuals.
– HMRC spokesman
HMRC seeks to collect the tax that is due from all taxpayers, so that everyone pays their fair share in accordance with the tax laws passed by Parliament.
We have secured more than £50 billion of additional tax from our compliance work since 2010, including £23 billion from large businesses.
We have carried out 2,345 prosecutions for tax evasion in the last three years, including of high-profile accountants and lawyers, have halved the number of disclosed tax avoidance schemes and have protected more than £2.4 billion from marketed tax avoidance schemes this year alone.
Margaret Hodge, the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, said there is a "lot of evidence" that the Government is not pursuing tax avoidance as expected.
The "tax gap" between the amount owed to the Exchequer and the amount actually collected grew by £1 billion to £35 billion in 2011/12, according to a new parliamentary report that accuses HM Revenue and Customs of being soft on big multinational firms.
– Margaret Hodge, Chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee
HMRC holds back from using the full range of sanctions at its disposal. It pursues tax owed by the smaller businesses but seems to lose its nerve when it comes to mounting prosecutions against multinational corporations.
It predicted that it would collect £3.12 billion unpaid tax from UK holders of Swiss bank accounts... but in 2013-14 it has so far secured just £440 million.
We were astonished that HMRC could not give any reasons for such a shortfall.
HM Revenue and Customs seems to "lose its nerve" when faced with the prospect of taking legal action against global giants, while pursuing small businesses and individuals, according to a new parliamentary report.
HMRC has fallen short on the unpaid tax it hoped to extract from Swiss bank accounts - collecting just £440 million so far this financial year, rather than the £3.12 billion forecast after a bilateral agreement - said the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee.
Changes in "controlled foreign company" rules and the failure to close a loophole relating to Eurobonds have made it "easier for the companies to avoid tax while ordinary people continue to pay their share," said the committee's chairwoman Margaret Hodge.
David Cameron has been sarcastically thanked for saving an MP's marriage by offering a "sweet £150 tax break".
Labour's Tom Harris joked that his wife Carolyn was "just about to sign the divorce papers" when she heard reports of the allowance for married couples.
Mr Cameron hit back with his own joke as he suggested Labour leader Ed Miliband only tied the knot with Justine Thornton when the Government proposed the idea.
The married couple's tax allowance is expected to be worth up to £200 a year for an estimated four million couples from 2015.
Labour claims working people are, on average, £1,600 a year worse off since the last election.
Speaking ahead of today's Autumn Statement, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Chris Leslie claimed there has been no recovery at all, with prices rising faster than wages.
He said: "What we need from the Autumn Statement is a long-term plan to tackle the cost-of-living crisis and earn our way to higher living standards for all, not just a few at the top.
"We need action to get more homes built, boost apprenticeships and cut business rates for small firms.
"We should make work pay by expanding free childcare for working parents and introduce a compulsory jobs guarantee for young people and the long-term unemployed.
"And we need to freeze gas and electricity bills while we make long-term changes to the energy market to stop customers being ripped off."
The British public generally supports the Chancellor prioritising tax cuts, according to the ITV News Index carried out by ComRes.
- Two in five (43%) agree with the Chancellor prioritising tax cuts, while 31% disagree.
- However, voters are wary of 'unfunded' tax cuts with 43% saying that George Osborne should not announce cuts if it means the Government's finances would be in a worse state.
David Cameron has appeared to rule out tax cuts for high earners until the end of the decade in an interview with newspapers in China.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, the Prime Minister said it would have to wait until the deficit was “dealt with”.
He said: “I’m a low-tax Tory, I believe in allowing people to keep more of their own money to spend as they choose; that’s a very important part of my political views, always has been and always will be.
“But I’m also a fiscal conservative. I believe the first duty of government is to safeguard our economy, and the economy isn’t safeguarded properly until you deal with your deficit.”
Community sports clubs are to receive tax breaks from the Government to help increase participation.
More than 40,000 clubs will be able to keep up to £80,000 in revenue from bars, cafes and hiring out facilities before having to pay any corporation tax.
Clubs will also receive deductions to better support players with fees and expenses, and businesses will be able to donate to sports clubs tax-free for the first time.
To qualify for the tax reliefs - an extension to the Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) relief scheme - clubs cannot charge more than £31 a week in membership fees. Any club that charges more than £10 per week in costs will have to offer special discounts.
Labour leader Ed Miliband has said companies which agree to increase the pay of those on low incomes will be offered tax breaks under a Labour government.
However some small businesses are already warning it would still be unaffordable, despite the cuts worth up to £100 per worker.
ITV News Correspondent Neil Connery reports.