Revenue tempts tax inspectors with bonuses. By Dan Martin

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HMRC is offering tax inspectors financial incentives to encourage them to collect more money from individuals and businesses, The Times has claimed.

The newspaper said bosses at the Revenue have instructed compliance staff across the UK to increase the amount of recovered unpaid tax by 25% during 2007. The report added that bonuses of up to 2,000 are being offered to inspectors who meet their targets.

Experts warned that the new incentives and higher targets will lead to more tax investigations. An unnamed former tax inspector told The Times that pressure to bring in more money would lead to inspectors seeking out more companies and individuals for investigation.

Matt Coward, a senior tax adviser at the accountants Blick Rothenberg, added: It is perfectly right and proper for HMRC to recover...

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02nd Jan 2007 12:51

1.8% - that's not a 'bonus'
Hardly worth the extra effort is it - reminds me of the time many years ago I worked in banking and the 'merit' increments were all of £200 a year and the bank thought that would incentivise staff!
I fear the revenue will concentrate on petty enquiries on submitted tax returns and ignore the fraud going on in the 'real' economy thanks to Gordon Browns bizarre system of tax credits and the numbers of people not bothering to register at all.
As usual, sledgehammer to crack the (wrong) nut.

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02nd Jan 2007 14:11

"...more frequent ..." maybe
but "... lengthier and more tenacious ..."?? I would expect the reverse. HMRC will be looking at the ratio of settlement to time spent in securing it. A short investigation with perhaps a lower yield would free up resources for more investigations. I do not see this bonus system as resulting in longer, more drawn out investigations.

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By Anonymous
03rd Jan 2007 10:52

Bonus on customer service rating
I suppose a bonus based on customer (tax payer) satisfaction rating would be far more appropriate.

This tax collection bonus would lead to adoption of quick win/easy target culture. It is not just the amount that counts as well, I presumed that hitting the target will now form a part in the inspector's promotion/career progression plan.

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By Anonymous
10th Jan 2007 15:49

Bonus?
From my days in the Revenue yopu were able to get performance pay dependent on the report grading you got from your manager.

This related to a number of key skills - which alongside collecting lots of tax included demolishing piles of correspondence and making any pile of unattended to correspondance equal zero - however much of it there was left. THis enabled you and your manager to get performance related pay.

It also meant drawing lines through computer generated lists on the assumption that the poor souls whose names were on them would know to claim a refund.

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By Anonymous
10th Jan 2007 14:18

Sheer Corrpution
Is the Inland Revenue going so low so as to introduce corruption for distorted facts in order to extort more monies from the already heavily taxed individuals just like cowboy building contractors? I am totally flabbergastered by this incentive. For God sake, they are civil servants who already are enjoying the top end of the pension benefits plus the rest and we are made to suffer for their sins!

I have a case where an Inspector converted an expense to an income through some very clever creative accounting or an new accounting method employed by the Inspector and tax applied as a result of the new accounting method only applicable to the Inland Revenue, was a whopping 80.77% I supposed she got her bonus through this distorted and spurious accounting method

What a joke and they want to work closer with the practitioners? HUMBURG

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By Anonymous
10th Jan 2007 21:19

Soft Targets
I have been told by insiders that they pick on soft targets because they know it is easy to squeeze until the pips squeak and they make it as hard as possible to get to the Commissioners. Before they get there, they would put on as many obstacles as possible thus making access to the Commissioners difficult.

I know of one in Croydon who is so obstructive that her staff had all signed petitions to get rid of her

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