"HMRC collected more tax revenue in 2016-17 and improved its service levels for taxpayers. However error and fraud is rising within Tax Credits and HMRC needs to make it easier for claimants to get help. HMRC is part-way through an ambitious programme to bring in digital services and reduce its costs. In doing so HMRC must ensure it maintains adequate services if it is to protect revenue and tackle error and fraud”.
Amyas Morse, head of National Audit Office, 14 July 2017
The Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) has qualified his regularity audit opinion on the 2016-17 Resource Accounts because of material levels of error and fraud in the payments of Personal Tax Credits.
He has qualified the accounts on these grounds every year since Tax Credits were introduced in 2003-04.
HMRC’s central estimate of error and fraud in 2015-16 (the most recent available) is £1.57 billion of overpayments (5.5% of total spending on Personal Tax Credits) and £0.21 billion of underpayments (0.7% of total spending on Personal Tax Credits). HMRC’s estimated increase in error and fraud within Tax Credits is contrary to the significant reductions achieved in previous years, and the rate is expected to increase further.
Wrt MTD the scale of transformation will be challenging to manage, and the U.K.’s exit from the EU presents an additional challenge (no kidding!).
As for "customer service" the NAO warns that the current approach used by HMRC to measurement could overstate calls handled, and understate the time to answer as experienced by the customer.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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