Magazine article Public Finance

R&C Failing to Collect Tax Debts, Claims Committee

Magazine article Public Finance

R&C Failing to Collect Tax Debts, Claims Committee

Article excerpt

A committee of MPs has roundly condemned Revenue and Customs for its failure to collect tax arrears.

In a report on June 9, Management of tax debt, the Public Accounts Committee concluded that R&C had been 'slow' to take advantage of widely used debt recovery techniques, such as risk-scoring its debtors and contacting them outside office hours.

Some 30% of tax payments were late, with £17.3bn outstanding in tax, interest and penalties at the end of 2007/08 - a 22% increase over the financial year.

PAC chair Edward Leigh said: 'The department must try every means it can to tackle what is likely to become a growing problem of tax debt, while making allowances for people and businesses in temporary financial difficulties.'

The report argued that the department should reconsider its decision not to invest in an IT system that links taxpayers' records. …

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