During a debate in the House of Commons last Thursday about HMRC David Gauke used a phrase that I have never heard in relation to tax collection, namely "man-marking".
He is quoted by The Register:
“I should explain that HMRC works, with regard to large businesses, by putting in place CRMs — customer relationship managers. Their role is essentially to man-mark the most complex and high-risk taxpayers. In recent years that approach has proved to be effective in getting money in.When asked by Margaret Hodge about why HMRC hadn’t launched any cases against internet companies such as Amazon and Google, Gauke cited the British variation of the "fifth" (ie taxpayer confidentiality) saying that there was “no way to know what action HMRC has taken with regard to individual companies”.
HMRC secured £8bn of additional compliance yield from large businesses in 2012-13, and more than £23bn in the past three years. It is an approach that has been endorsed by the OECD.”
“One of the difficulties that HMRC has is that it is bound by taxpayer confidentiality. It cannot give a running commentary to this House on the action that it takes, but the numbers demonstrate that HMRC is effective in getting money in.He graciously admitted that HMRC can only pursue companies for tax that they actually owed under the law (as opposed to pursuing them for tax that they don't owe).
“What we do know is that it has got billions of pounds in additional yield as a consequence of the action that it takes with large businesses as a whole. With reference to HMRC’s performance across the board, additional yield is being achieved year after year, and this Government have provided resources to increase the yield on evasion and avoidance.”
Who is responsible for passing the laws which HMRC and the companies they deal with have to follow?
That would be our elected representatives!
Tax does have to be taxing.
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