“Serious concerns” over HMRC’s digital plans

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has voiced serious fears around the digital plans of HMRC.

The PAC’s concerns over multiple factors of the Making Tax Digital (MTD) plan come following its annual examination of HMRC. These worries included tax reliefs, the tax gap and customer service. The review resulted in the PAC making a number of recommendations in order to protect the interests of the taxpayer.

The PAC criticised the MTD plans in its recommendations, saying: “HMRC is staking a great deal on the success of its plans to digitise the tax system, but once again it lacks an adequate plan if demand for its call centres does not reduce as quickly as it hopes.”

It was recommended that HMRC should have a feasible savings plan in place by March, which would lead to no increase in failure in customer service.

MP Meg Hillier, who is chair of the PAC, said: “HMRC plays a vital role, it is disconcerting that again we must raise concerns about customer service and transparency in the tax system. The lack of a convincing fall-back plan to safeguard service remains a looming threat.”

These comments allude to a dramatic fall in HMRC customer service performance as a result of imprudently reducing staff numbers two years ago.

The PAC also repeated its request for greater transparency when it comes to large multinationals, calling for HMRC “to increase the pressure on them to pay their fair share of tax”.