Management of Large Business Corporation Tax: Thirtieth Report of Session 2007-08; Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence

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The Stationery Office, Oct 21, 2008 - Corporations - 44 pages
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In 2006-07, Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (the Department) raised a total of £23.8 billion in Corporation Tax from large businesses. There are some 700 of these businesses, and in 2005-06, just 50 of them paid 67 per cent of the large business Corporation Tax, whilst 181 businesses paid none. Two-thirds of the tax comes from the banking, oil and gas and insurance sectors. Businesses pay little or no Corporation Tax because, for example, they have made a loss, or had losses in previous years, or they are using tax reliefs, or engaging in tax avoidance. In 2006-07, the Department's large business Corporation Tax enquiry programme raised nearly 2.7 billion. Many of these enquiries were poorly targeted, with nearly 60 per cent producing less than 1 per cent of the additional tax raised. The enquiries also take too long: in January 2008, 42 per cent of its enquiries were over two years old, and 10 per cent over four years old. In February 2007, based on initial review of tax returns from the previous 12 months, the Department estimated that the potential Corporation Tax at risk was 8.5 billion. The tax assessments are very complicated and there has been a widening gap between the skill set of large business tax staff and that of the Large Business Service. The Department is bringing in external recruits, including retired tax advisors, to help to train its staff and to deal with the more complicated technical work.

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