HMRC has introduced eight new taxes and levies on businesses over the last decade. These taxes cost £7.6bn in 2018/19, up from £7.4bn the previous year. The newest tax, the Soft Drinks Levy, has cost over £300m in the year since it was introduced in April 2018.
The three highest-yielding taxes that have been introduced by HMRC over the last 10 years are:
- The Apprenticeship Levy – a tax on businesses to ensure that they are funding new and existing apprenticeship schemes, generating £5.5bn since being introduced in 2017
- The Bank Surcharge – an additional 8% tax on UK banks’ profits, generating £5.3bn since being introduced in 2016
- The Bank Levy – a tax on UK banks requiring them to pay over and above normal corporation tax, generating £20.4bn since being introduced in 2011
However, UHY Hacker Young said that the “significant success” of these new taxes could encourage HMRC to “introduce more taxes in the future to try to increase its tax take”.
Clive Gawthorpe, partner at UHY Hacker Young, said: “Adding new taxes and placing a heavier burden on businesses does not seem to fit in with the government’s aims to simplify tax.
“These new taxes have already brought in billions of pounds in a relatively short space of time. If we want tax simplification shouldn’t we be reducing the number of taxes?”
He added: “Each new tax adds more and more of a burden on businesses. Given the economic uncertainty perhaps the government should be holding off on plans for new taxes.”