HMRC to extend business relationship managers to medium-sized companies

Medium-sized companies will be given access to greater HMRC support under plans announced by the tax authority at its annual stakeholder conference

The facility will be similar to that already enjoyed by large businesses, which has seen multinationals allocated individual points of contact at HMRC and in the past led to critics suggesting the tax authority was too close to big business.

Indeed, HMRC has been accused several times of striking reduced tax settlements with multinationals, instead of more vigorously challenging them in the courts or tax tribunals, something tabloids have branded ‘sweetheart deals’.

Under the newly-announced plans, dubbed the Growth Support Service and to be launched on 20 September, mid-sized businesses with turnover of £10m or more and 20 or more employees will have access to an HMRC tax specialist, who will advise them on compliance issues.

Speaking to CCH Daily, a CIOT spokesperson said while they expect the service to provide compliance advice, it is unclear what other services, if any, it will offer, and whether it will be more strategic than simply compliance.

In a session at the conference, HMRC moved to address its relationship with large businesses, which it said is ‘widely reported but often misunderstood’, adding that since 2010, it has brought in £53bn in additional revenue from multinationals.

In a similar session, HMRC premiered an animation designed to address ‘misconceptions’ around its relationship with large businesses, revealing multinationals overall contributed £225bn of tax in 2016/17, amounting to 40% of the total yield.

Report by Calum Fuller

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