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HMRC flaunts its ‘success’ figures despite criticism

Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs is busy patting itself on its back for the ‘wild success’ it’s had in 2013, despite the high levels of criticism leveled at it.

HMRC is rather proud of itself, and to be honest with figures like these I can see why: it turns out that there were nearly 700 convictions for tax avoidance, tax evasion, and even benefit fraud over the course of 2013. It’s a rather impressive haul if you look at it objectively, but the thing is it remains uncertain how inflated these figures are thanks to the Government’s focus on running contractors and other small business owners ragged with its obtuse and Draconian tax laws.

Yes, the Government is quick to say that people need to pay the tax they owe and that’s why there’s such a renewed effort to bring in every last drop of revenue that can be wrested from businesses and individuals in the UK, yet there’s a distinct lack of any high-profile investigations into large multinational companies isn’t there? It hasn’t gone unnoticed – after all, the Public Accounts Committee tore into HMRC for choosing ‘easy targets’ like SMEs and contract workers instead of taking on the big firms with their armies of accountants working overtime to ferret every single penny out of the taxman’s reach.

Whichever way you slice it, it seems like the tax authority might be sounding its own horn when it comes to their success over the past year. For all their flaunted so-called success, there’s still some £35 billion that could have been collected from multinationals operating in the UK – and that would have gone far in closing the gap between the Government’s incomes and outgoings.

It’s actually more than a little bit frustrating and exasperating to see these big firms get away with financial murder while SMEs are getting the short end of the stick. It’s even more outrageous considering the massive contributions that SMEs make to the economic recovery effort, yet for some reason no one in power seems to pay this any attention. It’s almost as if these multinationals are behind the scenes, pulling strings and working to make sure they shift the attention away from them so they can abscond with their ill-gotten gains. Oh, did I say that all out loud? Dear me.

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