Autumn Statement 2023 - HMRC enquiries, tackling the tax gap


The Government has further committed to investing in HMRC’s ability to ensure that everyone pays the tax they are due to pay. This will include allowing HMRC to target its debt collection activity, pursuing those with tax debts who can afford to pay, and providing support to those who are temporarily unable to pay. It is estimated to raise £5 billion over the next five years.

The Government is also taking action against those who continue to bend or break the rules, by reducing opportunities for tax fraud and focusing their enquiries on promoters of tax avoidance schemes.

As a direct result of these actions, HMRC has increased its enquiries into all areas of taxation. This is particularly relevant in specific areas, such as R&D tax credits where we are hearing of more and more challenges within the industry, however, the changes introduced today by the Chancellor – merging the SME and RDEC schemes – will go some way to make the system less prone to abuse.

In recent years we have also noticed an increase in communication from HMRC targeting specific taxpayers, or areas of taxation, through their use of ‘nudge’ and ‘one-to-many’ letters. These letters will ensure taxpayers are fully compliant, but they also greatly increase HMRC's ability to collect any tax which may not have previously been received which has, of course, been a long-term policy of the Government.

If you would like to talk through how these announcements affect your pensions and savings, then please get in touch.

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