HMRC publishes Annual Report and Accounts for 2016-17

Improved customer service and record-breaking crack-down on avoidance, evasion and non-compliance

The report shows that HMRC brought in an additional £29 billion by cracking down on the minority of individuals and businesses who try to not pay the tax they owe, while improving customer service for all taxpayers.

Jon Thompson, Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary, HMRC, said:

"In the last year, we have generated £28.9 billion of compliance yield, billions of pounds that would have otherwise been lost to the UK through avoidance, evasion and organised crime but will now be spent on public services. That’s around £1,000 for every household in the UK. We have also strengthened our grip on the minority who deliberately try to cheat the system and continue to pursue those who refuse to pay what they owe, on behalf of the honest majority. The message is clear to those who try to not pay their fair and legal share: there is nowhere left to hide."

Edward Troup, Executive Chair and Permanent Secretary, HMRC, said:

"Our ability to collect the money required to fund the UK’s public services is, of course, the ultimate yardstick by which we will be measured, but the public rightly judge us on the quality of service we provide to the overwhelming majority of people in the UK who are honest and pay the right amount of tax on time. Our continued focus on giving our customers the service level they deserve is paying dividends. There are now quick and simple online tools to allow people to deal with their taxes or tax credits anywhere, anytime and the best phone service in years for those wanting to call us."

In the last financial year HMRC surpassed expectations and exceeded targets across the board, but investment in supporting the vast majority of honest taxpayers to pay their tax and access services, has paid particular dividends. New online services are making it easier for customers to get advice and support, such as completing their Self Assessment, and has led to record numbers going digital.

And for customers still wishing to contact HMRC on the phone, they can now do so seven days a week, getting through in just four minutes on average.

HMRC’s focus on making sure the minority of people who try to get away with paying less than their fair and legal share has meant record additional revenues from avoidance, evasion and organised crime. And continued progress on developing increasingly sophisticated and world-leading techniques will further close this net, making it harder than ever to get away with tax dodging.

The report shows that HMRC:

• is transforming tax and payments for customers with contact centre staff now available seven days a week and answering phone calls in less than four minutes in 2016/17

• is marking the seventh consecutive year of record total tax revenues, collecting a total of £574.9 billion – £38.1 billion more than last year

• generated record compliance yield of £28.9bn through our work to stop avoidance, evasion and organised crime; more than ever before

• has over the last six years brought more than 500 serious organised criminals to justice. Investigations and enforcement action against organised crime generated or protected £3.2 billion in compliance yield in 2016-17

• handled more than 1,200 cases heard in courts and tribunals – winning 83% and protecting £15 billion in tax revenues

• helped more than nine million individuals to access online services with more than five million businesses having access to their online account to file, pay and obtain help.