HMRC raises record taxes
HMRC raised a record £574.9bn in taxes during 2015-16, including £29bn from its tax avoidance and evasion programme. However, more than £9bn in tax is being repaid due to legal cases in which people successfully demanded their bills be reassessed. The National Audit Office’s report shows HMRC expects to repay £9.6bn due to such legal cases for the period 2016-17, a significant increase from the £5.9bn paid in 2015-16. The report also reveals that an estimated £1.57bn of tax credits were overpaid due to error and fraud in 2015/16. Meanwhile, the NAO found the hiring of 800 extra staff has "significantly improved" HMRC’s call centre service, with calls in the year to March 2017 answered in around 3 minutes 54 seconds. The Government had pledged to improve waiting times after a decision to cut 5,600 jobs in 2015 led to some callers waiting up to an hour for an answer.
Source: The Daily Telegraph (15/07/2017)