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Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.
Tuesday, 2 March 2010
Last week the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) finally stated what the long suffering public (and staff of HMRC) have known for quite sometime, namely that the UK tax system is way too complex.
Specifically, HMRC's system for dealing with older people's tax affairs is too complex and leads to many people overpaying tax.
PAC estimated that 1.5 million older people have overpaid £250M of tax, and that HMRC does not know how many people miss out on the age related allowances that they are entitled to.
Edward Leigh, PAC chairman, said that HMRC's systems do "not cope well" with people's multiple sources of income (which are more prevalent as people become elderly).
PAC made a number of recommendations to HMRC:
- Establishing a clear plan by June 2010 to make the system simpler for older people and reduce errors
- Forecasting the growing numbers of older people and helping them with their tax affairs
- Accurately calculating how many people fail to claim their age-related allowances
- Providing people with a single document explaining how their tax code is calculated
- Provide a single point of contact for older people to get help in dealing with their tax affairs.
It is not just older people who find the tax system confusing.
However, given the fact that the country is bankrupt these recommendations will doubtless gather dust as there is neither the money nor the political will to implement them.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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