Promoters of tax-avoidance schemes “run rings” around HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), which “does not know how much it spends on its anti-avoidance work, and has not evaluated the effectiveness of its efforts,” according to a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report published yesterday.
PAC calls on the government to “name and shame” companies and individuals using or promoting tax avoidance schemes, as public anger might help to change their behaviour.
An HMRC spokesman said: “We are glad the report exposes the practices of promoters who sell tax avoidance schemes to wealthy individuals.” He added that the government has announced an extra £77m to tackle tax evasion and avoidance, and is introducing new rules to make tax avoidance harder.
Meanwhile a National Audit Office report, published last week, said HMRC has made good progress at tackling fraud and error in the tax credits system, but has not yet achieved value for money because it missed a target, set in 2009, to reduce error and fraud to five per cent by 2010-11.
The report says HMRC has introduced innovative measures to tackle risks, but overestimated their effectiveness. It says HMRC should make better use of data analysis, and expand its work using third party data to tackle fraud and error.