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Taxpayers to 'waste £463m' in fines

21 January 2009
Categories: News , Admin
Enquiries and interventions raise £12.9bn

HMRC will this year earn £463 million from fines generated by taxpayers’ errors, delays and oversights, Unbiased.co.uk has predicted.

A new survey by the website, which promotes the benefits of independent financial advice, highlights the amount of money that taxpayers will ‘waste’:

  • £89 million in fines for forms returned past the 31 January deadline.
  • £302 million through fines for miscalculations made on tax forms.
  • £72 million in surcharges on unpaid taxes from previous years.

HMRC would not comment on the figures, but did emphasise that they ‘run a high profile campaign to help encourage our customers to file on time – and there is lots of help available [online and over the phone] to anyone having difficulties’.

The results of Unbiased.co.uk’s study follow claims by UHY Hacker Young that the amount of extra tax taken from Revenue enquiries and interventions rose 13% in 2007-08 to £12.9 billion, from £11.4 billion in 2006-07.

Research by the accountancy firm found that in 2007-08, HMRC pulled in £3.9 billion alone from compliance activity targeting big businesses, an increase of 44% on the previous year.

Hacker Young tax partner Roy Maugham warned that the taxman ‘has taken a steadily more aggressive stance on reducing non-compliance over the past few years’.

He added: ‘Tax compliance teams… are now far less likely to negotiate with taxpayers and settle out of court if litigation will net more tax’.

Categories: News , Admin
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