HMRC reveals exact cost of red tape

HM Revenue & Customs has counted the amount of paperwork it demands from
businesses for the first time, and discovered that it makes more than 2,700
different tax-related information requests each year.

After years of complaints from business groups that HMRC’s bureaucracy has
got out of hand, KPMG has been hired on a £6.1m contract to calculate the amount
of paperwork generated by – and total administrative cost of complying with –
information requests.

Its results will be fed into a government-wide analysis of the red tape
burden on business being undertaken by PricewaterhouseCoopers, which should be
completed in the spring.

The Government is expected to announce plans to reduce the administrative
burden on business and the general public by 20 to 25% as a result of the study,
which has been called the ‘Administration Burdens Reductions Project Measurement

William Sargent, executive chairman of the Cabinet Office’s Better Regulation
Executive, said in the Daily Telegraph that he hoped business would
take the study seriously.

‘If we, business and the government, don’t take this seriously and accurately
measure the cost burden then we, in government, won’t have the tools to hack
away at it,’ he said.

For more information, or to offer to become an interview subject for the
study, go to:

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