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More on catching the tax dodgers

It was announced last month that HMRC’s New Disclosure Opportunity deadline for those with undeclared offshore assets to come clean has been extended from 30th November 2009 to 4th January 2010. This is no doubt because rather fewer delinquent “customers” have come forward than Permanent Secretary for Tax Dave Hartnett hoped, despite the prospect of much more serious penalties for those who are caught or come forward later.HMRC has also revamped its process for receiving anonymous tip-offs concerning tax evaders, details of which are here. To be truly anonymous, one would suppose that many would baulk … Continue Reading

HMRC’s stealth taxation through technology

The Revenue is introducing a new requirement to force agents to submit company accounts on-line in XBRL format from April 2011. Let me quote from their website:“Company Tax Returns and XBRLXBRL stands for Extensible Business Reporting Language, which is an international standard designed for business financial reporting. At the moment accounts and other attachments to online CT600 returns can be sent in PDF format. From April 2011 (and for all CT600 returns due after 31 March 2011) we expect that all CT600 returns will have to be sent online, and will have to … Continue Reading

HMRC and customer service

I wrote recently about Government and in particular HMRC disenfranchising the non-technical population. It is a sad situation, and it means that some perfectly intelligent people and in particular those of an older age group, or perhaps those who work with their hands have to employ people like me to do tasks with which they could have coped if dealing in paper.Because there is almost no one in HMRC with whom the ordinary population can speak who actually knows anything about tax, taxpayers just have to grub along or pay someone else. It gets worse as demonstrated … Continue Reading

Taxpayers as customers and the service they receive

I, in common with most other taxpayers, resent being called a customer of HM Revenue & Customs, when there really is no choice of supplier. We are captives of the system and we cannot take our business elsewhere. This is an old saw, but if we are customers, we have to ask what we are getting in terms of service; value for what we pay is another matter, and one of a political nature.HMRC, or at least the Inland Revenue as they were called, did once upon a time provide a service to individual taxpayers, prior to Self … Continue Reading

What’s cooking with HMRC, MPs and networking?

It was interesting to meet HMRC representatives at the Essex Branch CIOT/ATT meeting last week, and they seemed a pleasant and friendly bunch. However, of the contingent of six (v attendance of only about 25 members) a couple had come all the way from Yorkshire to Chelmsford. I could not quite see how this was cost-effective.I took the trouble to make notes, but cannot see on re-reading them that I really learned very much. One lady was able to assure us that they were working hard to improve the website, including the deplorable search function (generally it is … Continue Reading

The lighter side

I would not want people to think that I spend the whole time moaning about the government’s fiscal policy. The trouble is that I started this blog at the time when there had been announced a number of ill-considered policies. But, hey, let’s not say it is all doom and gloom.

As a tax practitioner I have to say that HM Revenue & Customs’ online filing system has been working well this year, at least for Self Assessment Tax Returns. I do not use the online filing for other purposes sufficiently to judge. … Continue Reading