Compliance to become focus at HMRC

Accountants may be interested to learn that HMRC is going to channel most of its energy towards ensuring everybody complies with their tax obligations.

Under a restructuring plan announced at the end of last month, the Revenue said the majority of its staff would work in compliance.

Lin Homer, the chief executive of HMRC, said that by 2015, more then 50% of the department’s full-time staff would be doing compliance work. It is thought that 56,000 people will hold full-time roles in the Revenue by 2015 and at least 28,000 of them would be working in compliance. (The current HMRC headcount is around 66,700.)

4,500 new roles are going to be created to tackle tax avoidance, evasion and fraud and Ms Homer indicated that specialist resources would concentrate on high-risk work whilst other employees would move from service areas to roles within compliance.

Over the next three years, thousands of HMRC staff will change roles and that process has already begun, she continued.

In the financial year 2010-11, the Revenue collected £469 billion. It has also almost doubled the take from tax enforcement and compliance activities from £7.4 billion in 2005-06 to £13.9 billion.

Under the commitments of the spending review, HMRC must cut costs by 25%, as well as reinvesting £917 million to bringing in an additional £7 billion each year by 2014-15.

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