HMRC Is Shite

HMRC Is Shite
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.

Friday, 1 November 2013

A Reminder To Politicians - Don't Count Your Chickens

HMRC can only collect what is legally due.

HMRC's Edward Troup was quoted by the Telegraph:
"Our job is to collect tax [and we follow] the law as it stands." 
Oh, and re the same article, in July I wrote:
"The trouble with the ongoing politicisation of tax (or rather the mechanisms involved in collecting tax) is that the politicians and media "professionals" involved in the spin are apt to "overspin" the issues and potential results etc.

Such appears to be the case with the "landmark" tax agreement between the UK and Switzerland, which Osborne heralded last year as:

"The largest tax evasion settlement in British history."
Fast forward to the present day and we see...cough... that it now looks set to raise much less revenue than expected, according to an update from the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA).
Osborne expected to raise £5BN over five years, of which £3.2BN of revenues expected this year have already been included in the government’s borrowing figures."

It seems that the reality will be around £440M this year and £782M, in total, since an agreement was signed.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. If HMRC know how much tax is owed then they should also know who hasn't paid. From Edward Troup's comment it suggest that HMRC are either getting their calculations wrong (including money they have no right to) or they aren't collecting enough taxpayer information for their calculations to work.

  2. What happened to the promised prosecutions in this area? This was Tax Evasion not avoidance. We see people brought before the courts and/or named and shamed for much smaller and less sophisticated fraud than must have been practised here. Who are these criminals? Or are they too well known to name? Whistle-blower needed.

  3. In this case its the Swiss who haven't collected it.

    Of course any tax evaders using Swiss accounts simply moved their money somewhere else before the changes came in.

  4. Sorry, but all of you are misunderstanding the situation.

    For years, "Tax Justice" campaigners like the execrable tosspot Richard Murphy has been banging on about the vast billions that the UK's tax resident elite have been hiding away in various "secrecy jurisdictions" such as Switzerland.

    So, HM Treasury and HMRC got together with their Swiss counterparts and hammered out a treaty whereby the Swiss would go around hovering up a %-age of these accounts and then send that to HMRC.

    However, when they actually looked, the vast amount were either owned by UK non-residents (and therefore liable to tax elsewhere, but not the UK), owned by UK resident non-doms relating to foreign earnings (again not taxable in the UK) and a tiny percentage which were hidden, foreign accounts of UK residents liable to UK taxation.

    So instead of the 3.5bn that was projected based upon the figures provided by the "Tax Justice" campaigners, we got a couple of hundred million. Not money that should be sniffed at obviously, but nowhere near the amount claimed.

  5. Sorry John but I hadn't misunderstood anything. The original claim was that HMRC hadn't collected the money - as I stated it was not HMRCs responsibility to collect the tax. That responsibility belongs to the Swiss authorities.

    Where have you got your information about the reasons for the lower take? It was my understanding that the Swiss authorities were "investigating" at this time.