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Concerns over HMRC performance

The Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has expressed concern that HMRC may be painting ‘too rosy a picture’ of its success on tax collection and that the department lacks a credible contingency plan for preventing a collapse as digitisation moves forward. 

The PAC made the following recommendations:

  • HMRC should report annually on the effect of its work to generate additional tax from compliance in terms of reducing the tax gap;
  • Despite the PAC’s repeated recommendations, HMRC still does not make tax reliefs sufficiently visible to support scrutiny on the areas where the government chooses not to collect tax;
  • HMRC is committed to digitising the tax system, but it lacks an adequate plan if demand for its call centres does not reduce as quickly as it hopes;
  • HMRC receives too many complaints and the vast majority of those referred to the tax adjudicator are upheld, in part or in whole:  HMRC should review its procedures to minimise the numbers both referred to and upheld by the adjudicator;
  • The poor quality of service received by tax credit claimants resulted in unnecessary hardship and suffering; and
  • HMRC and HM Treasury need to make the tax affairs of large multinational companies more transparent to increase the pressure on them to pay their fair share of tax. 



Date: 19th December, 2016
Author: Cathy Corns


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