HMRC Compliance Checks Rakes in 585m

07 October 2013

The taxman is getting better at collecting tax earlier, HMRC’s most recent statistics for tax receipts show, with the additional tax yield from compliance investigations into small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) jumping 31% over the last year.

Compliance investigations into SMEs raked in £565m for HMRC in 2012-13, up from £434m in 2011-12 (year ending March 31).

Small businesses are bearing the brunt of HMRC’s tougher approach to tax investigations. The Chancellor has set ambitious targets to bring in billions of pounds through additional compliance and HMRC is desperate to squeeze as much money as they can from businesses who may owe tax.

With smaller budgets, SMEs are often less likely to have accountants to manage their finances, making them prone to mistakes when filling in returns and therefore an easy target for HMRC. That also means they are in a weaker position to negotiate over any allegation of underpaid tax than a big corporation.

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