HMRC under fire for attitude to taxpayers

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MPs have lambasted HM Revenue & Customs over its customer service, raising fears that its “unacceptable” performance is having an adverse impact on the collection of tax revenues.

Meg Hillier, chair of the public accounts committee said: “It beggars belief that, having made disappointing progress on tax evasion and avoidance, the taxman also seems incapable of running a satisfactory service for people trying to pay their fair share.”

The allegation that HMRC is failing to collect taxes because of a failure to run a decent customer service is incendiary at a time when George Osborne is planning big spending cuts to plug the deficit.

Mr Osborne’s controversial plan to cut tax credits by more than £4bn – thwarted in the House of Lords last week – is even harder for the chancellor to explain if taxes that are due are not being collected.

The cross party committee said it was “unacceptable” that HMRC only answered 39 per cent of calls within five minutes in 2014-15, far short of its 80 per cent target. Continue reading “HMRC under fire for attitude to taxpayers”

Thousands face tax raid on accounts, says HMRC

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Various safeguards are aimed at preventing bank accounts from being emptied.

An estimated 17,000 people a year will have their accounts raided for unpaid tax under new rules, according to the UK tax authority.

In the Budget, Chancellor George Osborne outlined plans for new powers to recover tax debts from anyone who owes more than £1,000.
Now HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has explained how the system will work.
Continue reading “Thousands face tax raid on accounts, says HMRC”

Ten ways HMRC can find out if you’re cheating

Ten ways HMRC can find out if you’re cheating

Your friendly HMRC inspector has a vast array of databases and information at his disposal to check if you are declaring everything you should. The penalties can be very severe so is it really worth the risk?

For a cost effective solution to your accounting and book keeping requirements contact Dragon Accounting Services.

From browsing Facebook profiles, to noting careless talk in the pub, to talking to bitter ex-partners, HM Revenue & Customs is watching and listening. And its investigators will stop at nothing if they even suspect that you’ve been lying on your tax return. Here we list 10 ways HMRC check your affairs.
Continue reading “Ten ways HMRC can find out if you’re cheating”

Filing a late tax return

If you are self-employed and haven’t submitted your tax return time is running out. Paper returns had to reach HMRC by midnight on 31 October and online returns must reach HMRC by midnight on 31 January 2014.

To file online you need to register to use HMRC Online Services and it can take 7 days to receive confirmation of your User ID or Activation Code which enables you to use the service. You can read more here: Registration and Enrolment FAQs.

There are penalties for missing the deadline and the ensuing debt does not go away.
Continue reading “Filing a late tax return”

Sharp rise in property raids by HMRC

The tax authorities are searching homes more readily in a bid to increase tax fraud prosecutions, figures show.

Individuals suspected of evading tax are being subjected to record numbers of property raids by HM Revenue & Customs, figures show.

Data obtained by international law firm Pinsent Masons reveal that 445 property searches were carried out by HMRC in the 2012-13 tax year. This follows 499 searches – a new record – carried out in the 2011-12 tax year. Both figures represent an enormous increase on previous activity. In 2010-11, just 196 properties were searched, according to the data, which was obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. Continue reading “Sharp rise in property raids by HMRC”

Accountants have a duty to advise clients to avoid tax

A recent High Court judgement that advisers must refer clients to avoidance schemes is a fundamental shift in how tax practitioners advise their clients, with Judge Justice Silber ruling practitioners have a duty to advise clients to avoid tax. Continue reading “Accountants have a duty to advise clients to avoid tax”

Taxman increasingly ‘snooping’ on taxpayers

The taxman is increasingly snooping on the private lives of taxpayers, with officials accessing thousands of pieces of personal information over the past year, it emerged today.

Figures show Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs officials made almost 14,400 authorised views of “communications data” on taxpayers during tax evasion investigations.

This compares to more than 11,500 such views in 2010, which equates to a rise of almost 25 per cent, according to statistics released under Freedom of Information laws. Continue reading “Taxman increasingly ‘snooping’ on taxpayers”