The National Audit Office has published a report on the 2015-16 accounts of HMRC.The report shows that HMRC raised £536.8bn of tax revenues during 2015-16, an increase of £19.1bn (3.7%) on 2014-15 and paid out £40bn in benefits and credits (approximately one-fifth of the government’s total benefit expenditure).
The taxes that contributed to most of this increase were income tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs), which together increased by £10.3bn (3.8%); corporation tax, which increased by £4.1bn (9.9%); and VAT, which increased by £2.1bn (1.8%). Capital gains tax and Insurance premium tax also recorded significant increases, by 28.1% (to £7.3bn); and 27.6% (to £3.7bn) respectively. The annual cost of running HMRC was £3.2bn in 2015-16 (£3.1bn in 2014-15).
HMRC’s other key performance indicator is the compliance yield, which measures the effectiveness of compliance and enforcement activities. HMRC’s estimate of compliance yield in 2015-16 was £26.6bn against a target of £26.3bn.
HMRC have begun to implement plans to transform how tax is administered. The department’s vision is to have ‘the most digitally advanced tax system in the world’. By 2021, HMRC expect to employ 16% fewer staff, substantially rationalise their estate and automate more of their processes. In the past year HMRC have made plans to invest more than £2bn on this transformation in the next five years; launched digital accounts for individuals; announced plans to close 137 offices and the location of 13 new regional hubs; and secured agreement for their plans to replace their IT services contract, Aspire, which they have revised to reduce the risk of carrying out too much change too quickly.
The full report can be found here.