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HMRC criticised for failing to tackle big firms

  • 19/12/2013
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HMRC criticised for failing to tackle big firms
A report has criticised Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for failing to pursue prosecutions against large corporations.

The Public Accounts Committee report said HMRC was more eager to tackle smaller firms over tax debt. It said as much as £35bn was owed in missing tax payments.

“In pursuing unpaid tax, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has not clearly demonstrated that it is on the side of the majority of taxpayers who pay their taxes in full,” the report said.

“It does not use the full range of sanctions at its disposal to pursue vigorously all unpaid tax, and its measure of the tax gap does not capture all the avoided tax that it should be collecting.

It said HMRC had only collected £440m of the £3.12bn it was predicted to obtain from Swiss bank accounts held by UK citizens.

“HMRC is not doing enough to collect tax credits debt or to tackle tax credit error and fraud,” it added.

“When determining the tax regime for businesses, HMRC needs to strike the right balance between support and enforcement.

“It has not considered adequately the impact that measures designed to make the UK a more attractive place for large businesses to operate would have on the way companies structure their business, and how this would affect tax receipts from them.”

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