Public Accounts Committee

HMRC's performance in 2017–18

Inquiry status: Concluded

Report published 1 November 2018. Government response published January 2019.

Report and response published

Scope of inquiry

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is the UK’s tax authority, responsible for collecting tax from individuals and businesses. Its annual report for the 2017–18 financial year showed that HMRC had collected a record of £605.8 billion tax revenue, an increase of 5.4% on 2016–17. HMRC achieved compliance yield of £30.3 billion—almost 5% higher than its target.

HMRC is midway through a four-year transformation programme. As well as simplifying and automating processes, the programme includes modernising its building and implementing new systems. However, HMRC has previously told this Committee that work associated with leaving the European Union necessitated some reprioritisation in the Department. The National Audit Office reported in July 2017 that delivering transformation to the planned timescale looked unlikely.

The National Audit Office signs off HMRC’s accounts every year. In 2017–18 it found that there were material levels of error and fraud in Personal Tax Credits. HMRC faces a further challenge in reducing fraud and error for Tax Credits as it transfers responsibility for them to the Department for Work and Pensions’ Universal Credit programme.

The Committee will take evidence from HM Revenue and Customs on its overall performance in the past year, and what it is doing to best serve its customers—UK taxpayers—whilst delivering complex change.

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