Tax advisers lose £100m due to HMRC errors

paul gray

HMRC chairman Paul Gray says its efficiency programme is on target

The accounting profession has missed out on £100m of chargeable time to due
errors and inefficiencies at
HM Revenue &

Speaking in front of the Treasury sub-committee yesterday, head of the
tax faculty Frank Haskew said initial research into lost chargeable time by
advisers due to issues with HMRC’s services could be as much as £100m.

Haskew said that while the figure was not ‘hard and fast’, more research into
the effect of problems with HMRC services could be undertaken across the tax
bodies, and even on a regular basis.

‘It describes an order of magnitude of what the real figure might be,’ said
Haskew. ‘It’s given us a taster for doing it on more depth, and perhaps on a
regular basis.’

The sub-committee, taking evidence on the impact of efficiency programme in
the chancellor’s departments, heard that HMRC might cut even more than the
12,500 jobs it is required to shed by 2008.

HMRC chairman Paul
said that the department was slightly ahead of its target to
shed 12,500 jobs by 2008.

Gray said his estimation that a further 12,500 jobs would be cut by 2011 was
not a government target, but his own calculation of what was required to meet
the department’s financial target for that period.

He also revealed that 1,800 HMRC staff had been turned down from entering
voluntary redundancy, as their skillsets were required by the department.

‘They are frustrated they’ve not been retired because we need people in some
positions,’ said Gray.

He was unable to rule out compulsory redundancies in the future, and said
they would review the situation regularly.

Further reading:

Treasury holds crunch meeting to define profession

HMRC attempts to clarify composites’ tax rules

UK now has ‘longest tax code’

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