Wednesday, July 20, 2016

UK HMRC, Tax Havens, Misinvoicing Scotland, Panama Papers link Japan's shady online brokers to tax havens  

I miss typewriters
Only crashed when you dropped them
Holes in newsroom floor
Site's Attitude and Identity: Revenue Organisation's identity 2016 BC

Some 200 HMRC officers joined local police to search 13 private and 17 business addresses in Leicester, Birmingham, London and Milton Keynes on Monday Exclusive: Leicester address raided in multi-million pound HMRC tax fraud investigation

HMRC has begun to implement its plans to transform how it administers tax. Its vision is to have “the most digitally advanced tax system in the world”. By 2021, it expects to employ 16% fewer staff, substantially rationalise its estate and automate more of its processes. In the past year HMRC has made plans to invest more than £2 billion on its 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 its plans to replace its IT services contract, Aspire, which it has revised to reduce the risk of carrying out too much change too quickly  Record £536.8bn tax take presages more job cuts at HMRC

HMRC must increase transparency and think more about users when moving to a digital tax system, if it’s to boost trust of its services, the National Audit Office has said.

While the auditor’s 2015-2016 report was relatively positive, a number of areas of concern were raised, such as continuing high levels of fraud in some parts of the welfare system and unanswered questions around its digital ambitions remain areas of concern, sister title DigitalByDefault reported.
HMRC must win public trust for digital by default services ...

HMRC did not design compliance yield to be a cash-based measure and it necessarily includes a degree of estimation. HMRC measures the majority of its compliance yield based on individual compliance interventions, covering current and past non-compliance. HMRC’s methodology and processes for estimating compliance yield are sound. However, the levels of estimation and uncertainty vary considerably across the different yield types. For example, while most revenue losses prevented are known amounts from refused repayment claims, some are related to the disruption of criminal activities, which are more uncertain. Future revenue benefit is an estimate and is scored where sufficient evidence exists that a compliance intervention will affect future tax returns. There is a level of uncertainty in these cases because HMRC cannot be sure how taxpayers will behave in future. HMRC does not routinely carry out retrospective checks on its compliance cases to confirm its activities have resulted in the expected cash collection, loss prevention or behavioural change
  National Audit Office Press Release: Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) Annual Report and Accounts 2015-16 

Tax evasion, the hidden economy and criminal attacks: ( for Mr C to note)
NAO report described the risks to tax collection posed by the three main dimensions of tax fraud and how HMRC responds. HMRC estimates that losses to tax fraud amount to £16 billion each year, nearly half its estimate of the overall tax gap. We concluded that HMRC had started to take a more strategic view of its response to these risks, but needed to go further. It had begun to shift the balance of its work, placing increasing emphasis on measures to prevent non-compliance rather than relying so much on investigating it afterwards. HMRC was also working to improve the way it collects and analyses data. 
Alongside these positive steps, we encouraged HMRC to do more to strengthen the evidence that underpins its decisions. In April 2016, the Committee of Public Accounts said that HMRC’s strategy for tackling tax fraud and its approach to prosecutions was unclear. It also recommended that HMRC should explain why the amount of tax it claims to have recovered from its compliance work rises sharply each year, but the size of the tax gap stays the same
   National Audit Office Report: Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) Annual Report and Accounts 

Jeffrey Cooper (Quinnipiac), The Estate Tax Of Our Youth (Jotwell) (reviewing Paul L. Caron (Pepperdine), The One-Hundredth Anniversary of the Federal Estate Tax: It’s Time to Renew Our Vows, 57 B.C. L. Rev. 823 (2016)):
In The One-Hundredth Anniversary of the Federal Estate Tax: It’s Time to Renew Our Vows, Paul L. Caron tracks how the modern estate tax has evolved since its 1916 inception and contends the tax should be modified to serve its original purposes. Caron analogizes the nation’s relationship to the estate tax as that of an aging marriage, arguing that our passion for the tax has cooled with the passage of time. He urges us to find that lost passion and renew our vows to the estate tax we once so adored. To do so, we must reinvigorate the estate tax and restore it to its historical position as an important, robust component of our federal tax system.

The UK tax authority would have to pay up to £55bn in refunds if it lost all the legal battles it is fighting with taxpayers, according to official figures that show its exposure rose by more than a quarter last year. 

HM Revenue & Customs has been forced to multiply its “worst-case” estimate of potential payouts by a factor of five in the past six years, to take account of adverse court rulings and revisions to interest costs. 

HMRC believes it is likely to make payments in only a tenth of the cases and says its strong record in litigation minimises the risks of big payouts. Even so, the rise in its potential liabilities is likely to prompt the government to attempt to put a lid on some of the claims. 
       HMRC 'worst-case' liabilities rise to £55bn   

Holding governments to ransom: StanChart chief Bill Winters warns of HQ move if taxes rise 

  Theresa May's husband a senior executive at a $1.4tn investment fund that profits from tax avoiding companies  

U.S. Treasury Chief Lew Set for Apple Tax Showdown With EU  

EU Probe Into Apple's Tax Dealings in Ireland Reach a Decision Soon  

Huge Wall Street tax avoidance scheme has deprived Denmark of millions - and it has been going on for years  

Denmark Seeks EU Fix To 'Div-Arb' Deals  

Regulators seek to ease banking worries over money-laundering  

New Zealand sets up trust register to curb tax evasion, money laundering  

Revolving Doors: Ex-European Commission head Barroso under fire over Goldman Sachs job  

Clinton backer: If Trump releases taxes, donor will give $5M to veterans