HM Revenue and Customs

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Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is a non-ministerial govt department, responsible for the collection of taxes, the payment of some forms of state support and the administration of other regulatory regimes including the national minimum wage.

Tax Loopholes: For reasons known best to itself, HMRC has chosen, on numerous occasions, not to close tax loopholes. These decisions cost the taxpayer £billions each year, benefiting foreign owners.[1]

Executive Agencies

Valuation Office Agency

The Valuation Office Agency provides valuations and property advice to support taxation and benefits to the govt and local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales. It also provides valuation and surveying services to public sector bodies.

  • Jun.03.2018: Shake-up hits business rates appeals. A collapse in the number of small companies appealing against business rates decisions has been blamed on a “shambolic” overhaul of the govt agency that oversees the tax. The latest changes led to thousands of businesses being hit by increases in their rates of more than 50% — especially in the south of England, where property prices had risen sharply since 2010. The low number has been seen by many businesses as proof that the online system for contesting decisions is not fit for purpose. Some critics pointed to budget cuts at the Valuation Office Agency. It is undergoing a programme of office closures that will halve the number of premises to 26 by 2021. The Federation of Small Businesses has called the changes a “shambles”. It is now understood to be working with HMRC to help improve the system. Peter Evans, The Sunday Times.

Other Bodies

Adjudicator's Office

The Adjudicator's Office provides reviews of complaints about HMRC and the Valuation Office Agencym and considers if they have applied their standards, guidance and codes of practice fairly and consistently.

Political Interference

  • Jan.24.2018: UK Treasury accused of taking soft line on Amazon. A senior tax official has been secretly recorded saying the Treasury did not want HM Revenue & Customs to be “too hard” on Amazon, the US technology company. The remarks were made by an HMRC official in a private conversation with tax campaigner Richard Allen, who said he feared that ministers had an agenda to avoid annoying Amazon. HMRC deputy director Guy Westhead said: “I’ve heard from the Treasury; they didn’t want us to be too hard on Amazon.” Vanessa Houlder, The Financial Times.

Associated Groups & Campaigns

Timeline

  • Apr.2005: HM Revenue and Customs was formed by he merger of the Inland Revenue and HM Customs and Excise (formally, Her Majesty's Customs and Excise).
  • ^ Jackpot: Camelot avoided £10m in tax from lottery - thanks to a legal loophole and Canadian teachers. Camelot avoided ~£10m in tax in the last two years through interest on loans taken from Canadian owner Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan via the Channel Islands Stock Exchange. HMRC did not close the loophole after lobbying from major accountancy and finance firms. The Independent, Oct.22.2013.