HMRC seem to appear quite frequently in May’s headlines from the tax refund causing confusion following the government pension reforms to HMRC investigating the fastest growing SME’s over compliance.
There was news of HMRC cutting debt collection agencies by half following criticism from the public. However, this now means that HMRC are able to demand payment upfront and in addition to this are now requesting the ability to recover unpaid tax directly from the taxpayers bank account!
I for one would not appreciate HMRC being able to take monies directly from my account, knowing that it may be open to error and fraud and that more money could be taken than is actually owed. Im sure a lot of taxpayers will not be pleased with this approach. If HMRC implement this, then they need to make sure that the system is robust and errors are not made. Time will tell whether this is likely to be implemented.
HMRC also came under attack regarding the £100 fine for late returns. This is a fine that has caused controversy since it’s implementation in 2012 particularly as it applies to those who owe no tax!
HMRC have been urged to consider overhauling the penalties, which they have now done – but – it will only apply to those who are able to provide a “reasonable excuse” for failing to submit the return on time. A list of these “excuses” can be found on HMRC’s website.
One of HMRC’s latest initiatives is targeting small businesses with a turnover of £20m – £200m in order to discuss the companies tax affairs. HMRC plans to contact up to 180,000 businesses and intend on starting with the 100 fastest growing SME’s (Small and Medium Enterprises).
(If you are contacted by HMRC regarding a compliance check then contact us for help and advice)
A busy time ahead for HMRC….