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Wealthy taxpayers don’t receive special treatment, HMRC says

After a parliamentary committee released a report calling for measures to improve tax collection and improve public confidence in the system, HM Revenue & Customs insisted that Britain’s wealthiest taxpayers are subject to additional scrutiny and do not receive any special treatment.

HMRC’s strategy for dealing with very wealthy taxpayers suggests that “they get help with their tax affairs that is not available to other taxpayers,” the House of Commons public accounts committee (PAC) said

In a statement published within hours of the release of the PAC report, HMRC said there is “absolutely no special treatment for the wealthy, and in fact we give them additional scrutiny, with one-to-one marking by HMRC’s specialist tax collectors, to ensure that they pay everything they owe, just like the rest of us do.”

… Allocating resources to HMRC’s high net worth unit through specially trained personnel makes sense, Judith Freedman, professor of taxation law at Oxford University, told Tax Analysts. The “customer relationship manager” role should be seen as a scrutinising one, not as “help,” she said, noting that the job title was confusing …

Read more: My news story for Tax Analysts, 28 January (paywall).

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