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Jobs for the HMRC boys

My agent sent me an email this morning, advising me that from early next year HMRC will require him to provide them annually with details of all gross payments received on behalf of all clients and of all sums distributed to them, after deduction of commission. This applies to all agencies and will begin with the tax year 2012/2013. This seems to mean that the taxman is putting himself in a position to do a retrospective check on every client’s self-assessment tax return.

Well, fine: nice one, Mr Osborne. You might well find a few under-declarations, and claw some more cash into the public purse. However I am willing to bet that this extra income will be dwarfed by the cost of HMRC man-hours spent pulling it in.

Surely there comes a time when there is an assumption of taxpayer honesty, rather than the reverse. Or is it simply the case that HMRC is defending itself against future manpower cuts by creating irrelevant tasks? Ultimately, it is forcing business to spend even more time on pointless admin, at the expense, of income generation. Please tell me where that makes sense

 

Categories: Politics
  1. Eddie
    December 19, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    When Child Tax Credit was introduced, reduced and then removed from me, I received several letters in the two year period afterwards threatening me with all sorts of dire punishment if I did not return the money that HMRC had assessed me for and then given to me. I ignored all entreaties and encouraged them to try their chances in court with me.

    Now I’m getting letters wanting to know why I haven’t registered myself for self-assessment while ‘receiving’ Child Benefit which is paid directly to my son’s mother.

    On filling out the HMRC Ready Reckoner, I discovered I have no such tax liability and therefore no need to register but, having pointed this out to HMRC, the number of letters has increased threatening more penalties.

    Meanwhile I read the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee lambasting HMRC for losing their nerve when pursuing large companies.

    So, yes indeed, QJ, I too am of the belief that £100 is being spent to recover 50 p as it were.

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