Evidence from other fiscal authorities suggests that a more cooperative relationship could drive up voluntary compliance. The challenge for HMRC is inherent in the complexity of many such individuals’ affairs and the often-limited insight given by their tax returns.
The main difficulty in creating a more open relationship is that “we would like to understand more about you” can be heard as “we would like to understand more about you so that we can tax you more.”
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Paul Aplin was for many years a tax partner with an independent West Country firm. He is a past president of ICAEW, a former Chair of the ICAEW Tax Faculty, a member of CIOT Council and the Tax Technology Committee of CFE. He is a non-executive director of three companies, a member of HMRC’s Admin Burdens Advisory Board and the OTS Board....