TaxJan 12 2018

MPs raise concerns about HMRC plans

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MPs raise concerns about HMRC plans

"However, we remain sceptical that this will be enough to help more vulnerable people, and are concerned about the disparity of service between how HMRC deals with high-net-worth customers compared with the ordinary customer.

"HMRC could not give a guarantee that it would wait for demand to fall before cutting its headcount, and warned of a potential risk to customer service performance in future years."

The committee also said HMRC was unclear about how far it could close the gap between the amount of what should in theory have been collected and what is actually collected - known as the tax gap - which currently sits at 6 per cent.

HMRC said almost half the tax gap could be attributed to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), of which there are a large number, with each one often involving relatively small amounts of tax revenue.

It recognised it needed to change its approach and several measures will address the tax gap risks of the SME sector, including the introduction of the Making Tax Digital for Business programme, working closely with intermediaries, such as Amazon and eBay, and using tax agents working with small businesses to encourage increased compliance.