HMRC apologises after getting sums wrong | AccountingWEB

HMRC apologises after getting sums wrong

HMRC has apologised after it incorrectly claimed that it had collected billions of pounds in extra tax.

In a report on HMRC's accounts for 2013-2014, the National Audit Office (NAO) found that HMRC has set the baseline to measure its performance £1.9bn too low in 2010.

Amyas Morse, head of the NAO said that although the Revenue has been "broadly successful" in collecting extra tax revenue he was concerned that "an error of as much as £1.9bn in HMRC’s baseline calculation led it to report the trend in its performance in a way that inadvertently exaggerated the improvement since 2010-11."

The NAO also found that:

  • HMRC received total tax revenue of £506bn, £30bn (or 6.3%) more than in 2012-13.
  • The taxes that contributed most of this increase were income tax and national insurance which increased by £16.2bn (6.4%), VAT by £7.2bn (7.1%) and stamp taxes which increased by £3.4bn (35.8%)
  • The value of debt either written off or ‘remitted’ (not pursued by HMRC for reasons such as hardship or value for money) during the year was £5.1bn
  • HMRC reported compliance yield (the additional revenue it generates through its compliance activities) of £23.9 billion in 2013-14 - its highest yield so far

The Revenue said in a statement...


» Register now

The full article is available to registered AccountingWEB members only. To read the rest of this article you’ll need to login or register.

Registration is FREE and allows you to view all content, ask questions, comment and much more.

TaxTeddy's picture

HMRC guidelines    13 thanks

TaxTeddy | | Permalink

Based on this I am aiming to be "broadly successful" in paying my tax.

Lick your finger....    2 thanks

Mehmet | | Permalink

So it is true what they say.

When it comes to HMRC "Calculating" the tax gap or how much revenue is lost because of the black market, undeclared tax return etc., it is straight forward.

Lick your finger, stick it in the air and think of a number................

Sounds like a careless error    3 thanks

quanticoaccountants | | Permalink

Sounds like a careless error to me!

I wonder if any performance related bonuses were paid out as a result of the understatement of the baseline number.

HMRC tell a lie NEVER.    1 thanks

The Black Knight | | Permalink

Unheard of! LOL

Stick a finger in the air? they would have to pull it out of somewhere else first.

Think HMRC needs a culture change.

what a surprise

The Black Knight | | Permalink

"Morse qualified his audit opinion on HMRC’s 2013-14 resource accounts for the third consecutive year because of "material levels of error and fraud in the payments of personal tax credits". "

What a surprise,

They have no idea how much they have given away.

No Idea how much evasion they are missing.

Are in denial.

Have actively supported criminal behaviour and bankrupted this country.


and now like most scamsters seek to cover it up with creative accounting. Good work from the NAO at least someones concerned. We just need to tell them that after a report the next stage in the process is some action to fix the issues not straight to another enquiry and another report.

bit gen

The Black Knight | | Permalink

quanticoaccountants wrote:

Sounds like a careless error to me!

to kind sir!

I'd say deliberate negligence.


I would not consider RTI as


I would not consider RTI as "modernising PAYE!" More a waste of mine and a lot of others time and this is not taking into account all the Revenue's mistakes causing even more time to be wasted!


jholmes | | Permalink

"and achieved our best-ever customer service levels"

Really! This is your best ever!


Customer service

RogerCB | | Permalink

I think it could well be their best ever "customer" service, as when they last provided a half way competent service, taxpayers were not called customers. A long time ago!

If anyone else gets their

Anthony Nicholas | | Permalink

If anyone else gets their sums wrong they can expect a hefty penalty.

Fortunately we have the NAO who have more idea about what HMR&C is doing than HMR&C does.

Unfortunately without accountability nothing will change

Lets show some great results, and worry about the accuracy later

AndrewV12 | | Permalink

Another great example of someone calculating what results would look the best, publishing the figures and then worrying about the fall out later.  


I believe HMRC was lent on paint a rosy picture, regrettably that picture was blurry and hazzy and un-finished. 

Access Denied

North East Acco... | | Permalink

Is this the same HMRC who wants to raid bank accounts direct! Lets hope it gets those figures correct.

mydoghasfleas's picture

To be called in by Amyas Morse means it must be worse ..........

mydoghasfleas | | Permalink

... when you see what Private Eye has said about Morse over the year's he would savage a Department less than Geoffrey Howe's dead sheep.  Eye has more than once reported on Morse prior to a review stating his office expected to find nothing wrong and guess what.  It didn't.

HMRC needs to get on with its job and administer tax, not produce mission statements about what the tax it brings in is spent on.  It's not a spending department and what the tax is spent on is not for its comment.


gilderda | | Permalink

Bless them. A watchdog that now has no teeth and severely impaired vision, thanks mainly to the post-2010 coalition government cuts to its budgets and powers.

It exists, by and large, to back up whatever fanciful nonsense trots out of Whitehall departments. I suspect Morse will have already been called in for a strict talking to and reminding of who's in charge by Dave and Gideon for having the temerity to say anything negative.

HMRC and Getting it Wrong

redboam | | Permalink

By a long shot this is not the first time HMRC have "got it wrong" which is why the wretched Liz Horner's suggestion that they should be allowed to raid people's bank accounts without their knowledge should be kicked into touch by Parliament when it comes up for discussion.

Bank raids

Huw Williams | | Permalink

North East Accountant wrote:

Is this the same HMRC who wants to raid bank accounts direct! Lets hope it gets those figures correct.


Surely the odd £1.9bn error would not hurt any of its customers?

The 'tax gap'

Vaughan Blake1 | | Permalink

Pondering whether it is £Xbn or £Ybn seems to waste a lot of time and effort.  It's a bit like worrying about the infinite universe when planning a trip to Croydon! 

Amyas, just focus that it is a lot, a very lot in fact, and get on with collecting it!