It is 10 years since HM Revenue merged with HM Customs – so how is it going?

Some figures:

HMRC collected £505.8bn in 2013-14

HMRC headcount has been cut by 40%, so the move to digital has been a great success for revenue collection and reporting.  Freeing up staff time to investigate schemes and check returns.

Less commendable consequences of the reduction in headcount has been the requirement for increased reporting by tax payers and more severe penalties if mistakes or errors are made.  In 2014-15, a total of 7 million telephone calls went unanswered; service levels are unacceptable especially as HMRC are expecting taxpayers to do more themselves (or pay a professional).

HMRC have taken some of the criticism to heart and a further 3,000 staff are to be allocated to customer service teams and a further 2,000 staff to deal with the tax credits enquiries.

Part of the problem lies in the controlling board of HMRC.  The main “outsider” representatives are from the large business community and their advisers.  Tax Research UK director has stated that these “outsiders” represent a total of 700 tax payers when there are 31 million income tax payers.

HMRC are under great pressure to collect money to help repay the deficit but this should not be at the detriment of consideration to tax payers doing their best to comply!

Clearways Accountants offer a free consultation service, if you need some help or advice when dealing with HMRC, then please call us.