The taxman is struggling with 18 million cases of overpaid and underpaid tax
amounting to taxpayers contributing £3bn more than they should done.
A report on HM Revenue & Customs from the
Audit Office said: “The exact amounts of tax over and underpaid and the
number of individuals affected cannot be determined until these cases are
resolved. Reducing this backlog of cases remains a very significant challenge.”
Commenting directly NAO chief Amyas Morse said: “The department has not made
enough progress in reducing the backlog of 18.2 million income tax cases where
there is potentially overpaid or underpaid tax. It also needs to improve its
collection rate for tax credits debts, which substantially lower than that for
More also said HMRC needed to develop its information systems needed to be
developed to properly monitor the success of its campaigns targeting the
collection of specific taxes.
He said HMRC had been affected by the recession which had increased the value
of tax debt to be recovered while at the same time coming under pressure to
streamline because cost cutting.
2009-10 saw HMRC collect £435.1bn, down 1.3% on 2008-09. Amounts due, but not
yet paid stood at £26.1bn.
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