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Tax Collection

Volume 499: debated on Wednesday 11 November 2009

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer within what timescale HM Revenue and Customs is expected to have recovered outstanding liabilities for (a) value added tax and (b) other taxes. (297150)

The dates on which payments of VAT and other taxes are due are set out in statute. The Government expect that all tax due will be paid in full and on time. If individuals or businesses are unable to pay on time they should contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) as soon as possible. The sooner they do so the sooner the Department can begin working with them to find a solution. For example, depending on the specific circumstances a Time to Pay arrangement may be appropriate, allowing payment to be scheduled over a period the taxpayer can afford.

Further information is available at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/payinghmrc/problems/index.htm

HMRC vigorously pursues all those who will not pay when they have the means to do so or who otherwise try to cheat the system. All those who do not pay or fail to engage with HMRC face the prospect of legal enforcement action.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many individuals received retrospective tax demands as a result of the (a) Finance Act 1987 and (b) Finance Act 2008. (297608)

On the assumption that the question concerns section 62 of the Finance (No2) Act 1987 and section 58 of the Finance Act 2008, I can confirm that both sections were introduced to prevent abuse of the United Kingdom’s double tax treaties. Section 58 of the Finance Act 2008 was introduced to deal with a particularly aggressive and widely used avoidance scheme by which an estimated 3,000 users have collectively attempted to avoid more than £200 million of UK tax. There are no figures available in relation to section 62 of the Finance (No2) Act 1987.