On the 29th of March George Osborne dropped Lin Homer (CEO of HMRC) a wee note outlining his expectations for HMRC.
Entitled "Remit for HM Revenue and Customs 2012-13" the letter, after congratulating Homer on her appointment, sets out what he wants Homer to do.
Unsurprisingly, "maximising the collection of taxes" takes tops billing - an additional £17BN is required in fact! Coupled with "efficiency savings of 25%" by 2015 HMRC has its work cut out for it.
The government's "flagship" policy RTI also receives a mention.
By way of encouragement, Osborne has said that he will pop over to HMRC in the coming months, to thank staff personally for their achievements (something to look forward to in the calls centres, eh folks?;)).
I do not know that Homer's reaction to the letter has been. However, the ICAEW is a tad underwhelmed and notes that Osborne's "great expectations" could damage its level of service if the headcount continues to drop.
Paul Aplin, chairman of ICAEW’s tax faculty, said:
"The chancellor has set HMRC a very challenging target for raising additional revenue while coping with further cuts in headcount. While fully understanding the need to cut costs across government to reduce the deficit, there must be serious concerns - based on experience over recent years - about the potential effect on service.As and when RTI fails, Osborne will throw Homer to the wolves.
Further reductions in resource could easily damage prospects for the improvement in HMRC service delivery that is vital for the effective operation of the tax system. The department needs more resource, not less and if deployed effectively it should be self-funding.
It is important that HMRC only mandate RTI when it has been fully tested and has proved itself to be operating efficiently and effectively in accordance with the Carter Principle. RTI is an ambitious, project being pursued on an ambitious timescale and it is essential that it works as intended on launch."
Tax does have to be taxing.
Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations
What is TAXWISE?
TAXWISE is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.
To find out more, please use this link Taxwise
Tax Investigation for Dummies, by Nick Morgan, provides a good and easy to read guide for anyone caught up in an HMRC tax investigation. A must read for any Self Assessment taxpayer.
Click the link to read about: Tax Investigation for Dummies
HMRC Is Shite (www.hmrcisshite.com), also available via the domain www.hmrconline.com, is brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"