HM Revenue & Customs have announced they will spend £1 billion on enforcement and compliance this year, in the hope that they will cut tax avoidance and evasion by £2.4 billion.see Times article
That is a huge quarter of its £4 billion budget to be spent on catching tax-dodgers. The clampdown comes after a “litigation and settlement review” the Revenue promised to take more people to court to recover tax instead of cutting deals in out-of-court settlements. Beware the cost of defending yourself or your company in court if the need arises can be frighteningly expensive. That is why we recommend all clients take up our professional fees insurance. This enables your fees to be paid in the event of HMRC enquiry.
Lesley Strathie, who took over as the HMRC’s chief executive and permanent secretary five months ago, said that the organisation would relentlessly pursue those who bent or broke the rules.
Last month on the ITV Tonight programme an HMRC employee claimed that HMRC staff routinely bin letters and ignore tax errors in order to meet performance targets.
He said “Staff have actually been told that when someone rings in with a tax enquiry and you spot a mistake on a person’s record, you have to ignore itunless they have actually asked you to look at the mistake. Its all about the Government target of answering so many calls a day. And if you write in, the post often goes missing. It just disappears, just gets binned, some letters simply aren’t seen by anyone.”
HMRC’s official comment was that anyone found to be binning correpondence would be subject to disciplinary action.