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HMRC outlines three key departmental objectives for 2015-2020

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has updated its single departmental plan to refocus on three key objectives for the remainder of this Parliament: a clampdown on tax planning, transforming services for taxpayers and delivering a professional, efficient organisation.

In terms of its focus on tax planning, HMRC’s updated report said: “Over this Parliament we will maximise revenues due and bear down on tax avoidance, tax evasion and other non-compliance through well-designed tax policy, a transformed compliance strategy and effective delivery through digital channels.”

HMRC confirmed it is looking to raise a further £5bn a year by 2019-20 by “tackling tax avoidance and tax planning, evasion and compliance, and by addressing imbalances in the tax system”.

The department is also working to transform tax and payments for its customers via its new personalised digital tax accounts.

By the end of the Parliament, HMRC hopes these digital accounts will recoup an additional £1bn of additional tax revenue, simply by making it easier for customers to pay the correct levels of tax.

The tougher compliance stance taken by HMRC sees the department keen to grow the number of criminal prosecutions to 100+ a year by the end of the current Parliament.

The department is also working hard to improve its customer service record which was criticised heavily in a recent report from the National Audit Office (NAO), stating that HMRC’s service “collapsed” between 2014-15 as a consequence of staff shortages.

HMRC’s updated departmental plan states the organisation will engage its staff by “ensuring they are valued for their skills, knowledge and expertise and that they have the right tools to do their job and deliver outcomes”.

An HMRC spokesperson said: “There is no change to the normal, everyday use of tax reliefs as intended by Parliament.
“Tax reliefs are in place to encourage certain actions such as building up a pension pot, investing in your business or saving for a rainy day and that is overwhelmingly how they work.

“But, when reliefs are manipulated in a way the law does not intend, to achieve an unfair tax advantage it is only right that HMRC steps in on behalf of the vast majority of taxpayers who play by the rules.”

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