HMRC

HMRC must ‘urgently’ address gap in pandemic support, says PAC

The committee has now called on HMRC to set out – within the next six weeks – how it intends to address this problem and provide support to those so far excluded

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has called on HMRC to “urgently explain”why some taxpayers have been unable to access government support during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a report published last week, PAC notes that, despite HMRC providing more than £80bn in financial support to businesses and individuals impacted by the pandemic – “quirks in the tax system have left whole groups of taxpayer without the financial support offered to others including some that have not had a penny.” 

The committee has now called on HMRC to set out – within the next six weeks – how it intends to address this problem and provide support to those so far excluded. 

It also requested HMRC to consider how it can provide support to those workers who have been moved onto payrolls as a result of IR35 rules, and that the tax body should look at a scheme that uses average wages over a three year period to determine support.

The report also notes the strains that have been placed on HMRC’s ability to operate as an effective tax agency as a result of the pandemic, Brexit preparations and its IT and estate planning strategies.

Meg Hillier, PAC, chair said: “Out-of-date tax systems are one of the barriers to getting help to a significant number of struggling taxpayers who should be entitled to support during the pandemic.”

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