Taxman still a threat despite office closures

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Contractors shouldn’t be lulled into a false sense of security with HMRC, despite the Revenue announcing the closure of hundreds of its local tax offices.

This month, HMRC announced it would restructure its operation to “modernise its way of working.” It estimates the plans will save taxpayers £100 million by 2025.

money crop

The move’s attracted criticism from all angles, with lobby groups warning that it could stretch HMRC to “breaking point”. Others claim the closures could worsen the Revenue’s already under-fire customer service department.

While the news might make it seem that HMRC's taken its eye off the ball in terms of enforcement, the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, a recent report has revealed the Revenue has increased its efforts to target high net worth individuals.

According to the study, HMRC has increased the headcount at its Affluent Unit by 54% in two years, growing from 213 in 2012/13 to 327 in 2014/15. The team’s wage bill has also jumped 68% over the same time period, from £7.8 million to £13.1 million.

The news is a clear indication that HMRC’s not about to let up on its pursuit of tax avoiders, meaning contractors will need to make sure they keep themselves whiter than white. Indeed a likely overhaul of IR35 in this week’s Autumn Statement places contractors even further under the microscope.

Of course, we’ll be here to make sure our clients keep in HMRC’s good books. We’re with our contractors all the way through their career, helping them make the most of their WorkStyle, while remaining  compliant at all times.