View more on these topics

HMRC slammed by MPs for lack of tax relief scrutiny


MPs have criticised HM Revenue & Customs over its lack of scrutiny on whether tax reliefs are being used effectively and warned of a potential return to a “disastrous decline in customer service”.

In a report on HMRC’s performance, published today, the Public Accounts Committee says there are a “number of matters of concern” about the way the organisations collect tax revenues and delivers customer service.

It says: “It is essential that HMRC avoids repeating the mistakes it made two years ago when it reduced the number of staff in its personal tax service prematurely, resulting in a disastrous decline in customer service.”

The report adds: “We remain concerned that HMRC does not scrutinise effectively whether tax reliefs are being used as intended or provide Parliament with sufficient information on the costs of tax reliefs and their effectiveness.”

MPs raised concerns that tax reliefs are not visible enough to encourage proper public debate about where the UK chooses not to collect tax.

The report says HMRC’s current information on tax relief is scattered across different publications.

It says: “HMRC needs to do more. It should monitor whether the use and cost of tax reliefs is in line with Parliament’s intentions when the reliefs were enacted.

“HMRC still does not provide sufficient information to explain the impact that tax reliefs are having on behaviour.”

MPs also pointed to analysis by the National Audit Office which found that entrepreneurs’ relief was costing three times more than forecast.


House building and BTL tax reversals top Autumn Statement wishlist

With just 24 hours to go before the Autumn Statement, the industry has spoken out on what it hopes and expects Chancellor Philip Hammond to announce tomorrow, with housebuilding measures and the reversal of buy-to-let taxes topping the wishlist. Here is a round-up of the aspirations of industry figures in the Statement: “This year – […]

Comment: Limiting the BTL tax damage

The benefits are substantial for landlords who operate as a limited company, although this won’t be suitable for everyone Landlords scrambled to buy property before former chancellor George Osborne’s costly new stamp duty charges on buy-to-lets came into force in April. Since then, the market has slowed considerably. However, little by little, landlords are returning […]


Landlords slam tax changes as 440,000 face 2017 rate hike

Around 440,000 landlords who pay the basic rate of tax will be forced into a higher tax bracket from Apriil next year, according to the National Landlord Association. The changes, to be fully phased in by 2021, will mean landlords will no longer be able to deduct mortgage interest payments or any other finance-related costs from […]

Survey cover

EEF/Jelf Employee Benefits Sickness Absence Survey 2015

EEF stated in its 2015 EEF Manifesto that the UK’s growth prospects depend on people being fit, working and productive. Keeping people in work and helping people return to work is very important for the manufacturing sector. It means boosting productivity by getting people back into work as early as is possible, as well as fostering workplace cultures and environments that proactively manage individuals’ health conditions so that all can benefit from lower sickness absence outcomes.

Burnett: what needs to happen for value to start performing again?

Value stocks have significantly underperformed growth stocks in Europe in the past decade. However, Rob Burnett, manager of the Neptune European Opportunities Fund, believes we are now approaching an inflection point. Watch the video below to find out more. In the video, Rob discusses: How low inflation and loose monetary policy since the global financial […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up