Another tax amnesty that just shows HMRC is too understaffed to collect tax

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H M Revenue & Customs has announced another tax amnesty - this time for anyone who is a higher rate tax payer who has forgotten to submit a tax return for 2009-10 and earlier. Minimal fines and a 10% penalty are offered. But as accountants PKF note in the Mail:

John Cassidy, a tax investigation and dispute resolution partner at PKF Accountants, said the offer of the amnesty meant HMRC were 'throwing money away'.

He said: 'HMRC knows who has been asked to submit a tax return, and usually where they live and work. So why offer penalty reductions?

His reason? Simply that there aren't enough staff at HMRC to now collect the tax due in any other way.

I strongly suspect he is right. What a sorry state of affairs.