HMRC using psychology to make people pay
The Chief Secretary to the Treasury has revealed that HMRC has altered wording of hundreds of thousands of reminder letters in an attempt to prompt people into paying outstanding tax.
Apparently HMRC is using a team of psychologists and “behavioural economists” to make people feel guilty if they fail to pay tax on time.
The reminder letters now used include statements highlighting that the great majority of people pay their taxes on time whilst setting out the importance of taxes in funding public services.
A similar approach, developed by the behavioural analysis team, is being used to target potential tax evaders who are, it seems, being sent letters asking them to clarify their tax affairs.
The Chief Secretary said: “We are using psychologists and behavioural economists in HMRC to get the money quickly ……. Tax dodgers beware – we know where you live, we know how much you owe, and now we know how you think. Your behaviour is unacceptable, and we are coming for our money.”
HMRC has said that it conducted trials involving 100,000 taxpayers to “pinpoint the exact words and concepts” which make people more likely to pay their taxes.
The change in wording has so far, apparently, led to an estimated £210 million worth of additional tax revenues each year.
Date: 17th December, 2014
Articles from this Author
1st November, 2018
Budget 2018 - Changes for businesses
22nd October, 2018
Making the most out of your home? Rent a room relief
3rd May, 2018
Tax changes for non-resident corporate landlords
4th April, 2018
EMI options - a current risk
Contact Business Service Partners
Choose from the drop down menu below to select a Partner to contact.
Sandy Bell, Partner in Rickmansworth considers the merits of Furnished Holiday Lettings in Optima magazine… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
For the latest Mercer & Hole news, visit our LinkedIn page mercer-&-hole