HMRC has got a lot to do

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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?'

  1. Properly appraise the tax gap: no management is effective until it properly appraises the issues it faces;
  2. Set up an Office for Tax Responsibility to monitor the tax gap independent of HMRC management;
  3. Appraise the cost of all tax reliefs and allowances and eliminate as many as possible to reduce cost, remove loopholes and ease taxpayer life;
  4. Provide as many tax reliefs (pensions, charitable giving, etc.,) at just one rate to ease administration;
  5. Integrate Companies House and HMRC with one annual return required from all companies, without exception;
  6. Make the directors of companies who do not file required returns personally liable for all tax owing;
  7. 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;
  8. Consider requiring the same data for UK resident individuals;
  9. Require public country-by-country reporting for the behavioural change it will give rise to;
  10. Properly use naming and shaming powers;
  11. Require an HMRC office in every town of more than 100,000 people with an enquiry centre attached;
  12. Improve HMRC pay: make HMRC a viable career option once more;
  13. Set HMRC a task of maximising revenue, not minimising cost;
  14. Require a broad basis of representation on the board of HMRC;
  15. Equalise the rates of income tax and capital gains tax to minimise the incentive to tax abuse;
  16. Reduce the gap between income tax and corporation tax rate to minimise tax abuse.

There is a lot to do.