22 November 2023

Funding in HMRC’s debt management capability 

A further £163 million will be invested in enhancing HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC’s) ability to manage tax debts. This is so that it can easily establish the difference between those who: 

  • have the means to settle their tax debts but actively choose not to 

  • temporarily can’t afford to settle their tax debts and so require further support. 

This funding will also be put towards helping to support individuals and business taxpayers to move out of their debt more speedily, allowing HMRC to collect the debts that it is owed. 

Construction industry scheme reform 

The government has announced that it will introduce reforms to the construction industry scheme in the Autumn Finance Bill 2023. This will mean that value added tax (VAT) is added as part of the gross payment status compliance test. HMRC will then have enhanced powers to remove gross payment status where fraud has been detected. A technical consultation is expected, which will explore simplifying other elements of the scheme. 

Harsher sanctions for tax avoidance promoters 

Also in the Autumn Finance Bill 2023 will be legislation to introduce harsher sanctions for those who promote tax avoidance scheme. This is to include: 

  • a new power which will mean HMRC can take action to get directors or companies associated with promoting tax avoidance disqualified 

  • new criminal offences for those who persist in promoting tax avoidance schemes even after they have received a notice instructing them to stop. 

Improving the data HMRC collects from its customers 

This policy has already been widely discussed by the CIPP’s policy team, but the Autumn Statement documents confirm that the Autumn Finance Bill 2023 will include legislation which will make it mandatory for employers to provide more granular detail to HMRC regarding employee hours worked, through real time information. These changes are due to take effect from 2025/26 onwards. 

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