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ACCA urges government to reconsider HMRC resource cuts

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants recently spoke out against the plans to cut the resources of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, calling upon the government to reconsider its proposals.

Head of taxation for the ACCA, Chas Roy-Chowdhury, said that with both capital gains and income tax receipts falling by 73 per cent over the past 12 months, the idea that the government would move forward with its plans to reduce the resources of HMRC seems quite bizarre, especially with uncollected taxes in the hundreds of millions. Mr Roy-Chowdhury continued, remarking that the resource cuts as planned would only save a fraction of the money that would be lost as a result of HMRC’s lessened ability to carry out investigations into aggressive tax avoidance schemes, let alone its ability to collect taxes in the first place.

The worst thing would be to cut HMRC’s resources right now, the head of taxation warned, especially with the precarious position that the public finances are in at the moment. The impact of such resource cuts would not only be catastrophic on HMRC’s ability to regulate taxation and collect income for the government, experts say, but would have a severely deleterious effect on the economy in general, with the possibility existing that as many as 10,000 public sector workers could be made redundant, adding to an unemployment problem that many have called the worst since the Great Depression.

The public sector jobs market has been weakening for months now, with many turning to permanent work in the private sector or picking up contract or temporary positions in the meantime.

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