In two of those four years we have highlighted the chancellor’s clampdown on
tax avoidance, in another we highlight the Treasury’s underestimation of how
much will be raised from closing a loophole and in another we almost sing his
praises for reducing red tape on SMEs.
These are common themes so the question is will they continue once the
chancellor has moved on to number 10?
Regardless of what happens in this Budget, SME red tape will never go away.
Red tape busting reform from time to time will keep small businesses and middle
England happy for a long time to come. It’s good sense and good politics.
HMRC’s anti avoidance project has alienated big business and big firms and
has gone some way to souring relations with UK plc. In fact, it’s the policy on
tax that has led many to question whether their companies should continue to be
based in the UK. A change of tack could therefore be in the offing to placate
Underestimating the effect of closing a loophole is always going to happen.
HMRC senses they have to be closed, but the profession and business knows their
true value in keeping the UK competitive. And when the private sector manages to
point out how the Treasury’s number crunchers have gotten their sums wrong it’s
But underestimating the numbers is almost an imperative. An insignificant
impact is a means of consoling business, of arguing that they can do without the
benefit. This makes it almost a politically expedient, and therefore something
we can expect to see for a long time to come.
Further powers are being sought by HMRC, but it is ‘failing’ to use those it already has, such as Conduct Notices, says RPC
HMRC breaches client confidentiality; and partner profits fall at EY. These stories and more discussed in Friday Afternoon Live
"The whole idea of HMRC officials supplying confidential information about individuals to the media on a non-attributable basis is, or should be, a matter of serious concern," say Supreme Court judges
Changes to the tax system is urged to support the growth of entrepreneurs, found a report from the Grant Thornton UK, the Institute of Directors, and the Prelude Group