Magazine article Management Today

Company Vitae: HM Revenue & Customs

Magazine article Management Today

Company Vitae: HM Revenue & Customs

Article excerpt

Regular punters end up on hold but Google gets to set its own tax rate.

What's up with the Revenue?

Formative years

Created by the controversial union of Customs and Excise with the Inland Revenue in 2005, its formation was driven by the same desires that attend many corporate marriages - to simplify processes, boost productivity and, of course, save pots of cash.

But just as two-thirds of private sector mergers fail, HMRC was plagued with problems from the start. In 2007, the details of every child benefit recipient in the UK were lost. In 2010, IT problems led to pounds 160m of PAYE being written off. In 2011, it was investigated by MPs, who accused it of being soft on tax avoidance.

Recent history

All of which looks like a storm in a teacup as HMRC faces up to what could be a sink or swim year in 2016.

Sweetheart deals with the super rich and now Google's pounds 130m 'donation' have dealt public faith in the UK's tax collectors a potentially fatal blow.

Thanks to a decade in which 40% of HMRC jobs have been cut while levels of (legal) tax avoidance have rocketed, morale is at a record low and it has a burgeoning 'gamekeeper turned poacher' problem to boot. …

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