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Autumn Budget Statement

Chancellor’s statement on tax collection has no substance – Under-resourced HMRC can’t close tax gap

BR Autumn Budget 23

Whilst the determination of the Chancellor for HMRC to collect more taxes that people owe is admirable, the statement does not have any substance

Fiona Fernie
Fiona Fernie, Partner


Fiona Fernie, partner and tax dispute specialist said:

“The tax gap remains at a level of over £30billion – a figure which has not been impacted significantly over the last few years despite HMRC’s alleged focus on reducing it. A further reduction in the tax gap of £5bn is of course, welcome but is still less than 20% of the current problem.”

The statement also begs the question of how this additional collection is going to be achieved. At the moment, HMRC is under-resourced, and pockets of the organisation also need better training. There is too much onus on the taxpayer to come forward using various ‘disclosure campaigns’, and even when individuals do make a disclosure, there is often huge inefficiency in dealing with them, with HMRC seemingly using standard responses and a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach in order to relieve the pressure on their in-trays.

If the Chancellor really wants to cut the tax gap significantly, HMRC need the resources to mount investigations into those taxpayers where there is a suspicion of serious non-compliance and large underpayments. They also need properly technically trained staff manning the helplines for the ordinary taxpayer to use to try and ensure they are compliant by getting appropriate advice.

Would you like to know more?

If you would like to discuss any of the above issues please contact your usual Blick Rothenberg contact Fiona Fernie using the form below.

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Fiona Fernie
Fiona Fernie
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