The All Party Parliamentary Group on Responsible Taxation has a new call for papers out. Their plan is to hold an inquiry into public confidence in HMRC’s capability to collect tax fairly and effectively.
I submitted a response yesterday, which is here.
I said in response to the question 'What legislative, resourcing or other measures would help to narrow the tax gap?'
- Properly appraise the tax gap: no management is effective until it properly appraises the issues it faces;
- Set up an Office for Tax Responsibility to monitor the tax gap independent of HMRC management;
- Appraise the cost of all tax reliefs and allowances and eliminate as many as possible to reduce cost, remove loopholes and ease taxpayer life;
- Provide as many tax reliefs (pensions, charitable giving, etc.,) at just one rate to ease administration;
- Integrate Companies House and HMRC with one annual return required from all companies, without exception;
- Make the directors of companies who do not file required returns personally liable for all tax owing;
- Introduce annual automatic information exchange from UK banks to HMRC on bank accounts a company maintains, beneficial ownership of the company, trading addresses, known directors, and annual deposits;
- Consider requiring the same data for UK resident individuals;
- Require public country-by-country reporting for the behavioural change it will give rise to;
- Properly use naming and shaming powers;
- Require an HMRC office in every town of more than 100,000 people with an enquiry centre attached;
- Improve HMRC pay: make HMRC a viable career option once more;
- Set HMRC a task of maximising revenue, not minimising cost;
- Require a broad basis of representation on the board of HMRC;
- Equalise the rates of income tax and capital gains tax to minimise the incentive to tax abuse;
- Reduce the gap between income tax and corporation tax rate to minimise tax abuse.
There is a lot to do.