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Tax news in brief


Published: 16 Feb 2022 Update History

Highlights from the broader tax news for the week ending 16 February 2022, including: PAC report on HMRC Performance; and two green Freeports for Scotland.

Public Accounts Committee report on HMRC Performance in 2020-21

On 11 February 2022, the Public Accounts Committee issued its report on HMRC’s Performance in 2020-21. The report contains eight conclusions together with related recommendations. The government has two months to respond. The conclusions are:

  • HMRC’s unambitious plans for recovering overpayments of COVID-19 support could lead to government writing off at least £4bn.
  • HMRC does not understand the reasons for the growth in the cost of research and development tax reliefs including how much is due to abuse.
  • HMRC does not have a convincing plan for restoring compliance activity back to pre-pandemic levels.
  • Resource constraints are limiting HMRC’s ability to get the optimum level of compliance yield.
  • It is too easy for taxpayers to be unwittingly lured into tax avoidance schemes.
  • Yet again customer service has collapsed and HMRC’s recovery plans are not clear.
  • The benefits of Making Tax Digital to those with simple tax affairs are not clear.
  • Changed working practices have left HMRC with more office space than it needs.

Two green freeports for Scotland

The bidding process to establish two new freeports in Scotland will open in Spring 2022 with the ambition that the sites will be operational by spring 2023. Prospective bidders will have to pledge to reach net zero by 2045. Read more.

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