HMRC Lie About ‘Record Yield’
HMRC’s job is to bring in money to our Government and that cash can then be used to fix roads, run hospitals and pay the police. But (and here’s the thing) it’s doing a very bad job. HMRC are simply not bringing in enough cash and (if that weren’t bad enough) they also lie* about the amount of cash they are bringing in.
HMRC announced in June that it had brought in £30.3 billion by tackling tax avoidance and evasion in the 2017-18 financial year, which it said was a rise of £1.4 billion compared with the 2016-17 tax year.
However, analysis of the figures by UHY Hacker Young found that the majority of this £30.3 billion was not real cash take. They said, “The actual cash income from HMRC investigations has fallen despite HMRC’s claims of record yield.”
The figures put forward by HMRC were extrapolations of HMRC call “Revenue losses prevented” and “future revenue benefit”.
So they are largely projections: what HMRC is doing is taking a ‘F’ and changing it into a ‘B’.
It’s not the first time HMRC have tried to this trick and it won’t be the last. Lazy editors get hold of a “well written” press releases from HMRC and print it without drilling down on the figures.
The bad news for you is that this adds pressure on them to get more cash quickly. What do they do? They go after what is known as ‘low hanging fruit’ these are the easy to reach targets that don’t require much effort, people with relatively low incomes who don’t have good representation and may well crack under a bit of pressure: hairdressers, plumbers, taxi drivers, IT consultants. People like us.
* In the national media HMRC lies are often called “fudges” or it’s said that the figures are “misleading” – these look like lies to me, so I call them lies.