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HMRC’s achievements

Press Release   •   Dec 30, 2015 23:55 GMT

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has had a very successful year with record-breaking and sustained results through 2015 by increasing revenues, reducing costs and improving customer service. The continued transformation through digital services, including new powers being provided to HMRC due from 2016 onwards, means the department is on target to further improve customer service and crackdown on tax cheats, bringing vital revenues for public services.

HMRC Spokesperson

“HMRC has had its most successful and sustained performance in its ten-year history. The department has achieved successive record-breaking revenues, last year alone bringing in more than £517 billion and increased compliance yields to £26.6 billion, up by 43% since 2011/12 - all achieved through tougher enforcement and record prosecutions of tax cheats.

“All of this was delivered at the same time as improving our customer service and continuing to roll-out a transformation programme that will see us reduce our estate costs by £100m per year by 2025.

“This is a record of achievement which gave Ministers the confidence to reinvest £2.1 billion in HMRC’s further transformation in the 2015 Spending Review.”

Key achievements:

- Overall revenues raised by HMRC increased by 9% – from £474.2 billion in 2011-12 to a record £517.7 billion in 2014-15.

- Compliance revenues – the yield we collect and protect that people try not to pay – increased by 43% from £18.6 billion in 2011-12 to £26.6 billion in 2014-15.

- The tax gap – the difference between the amount of tax that should, in theory be collected by HMRC, against what is actually collected – fell from 6.6% of tax due in 2011-12 to its lowest-ever level of 6.4% in 2013-14, which is one of the lowest in the developed world.

- Tax credit fraud and error dropped from 7.3% in 2011-12 to an all-time low of 4.4% in 2014-15.

- Prosecutions (predominantly for tax-related crimes) increased from 545 cases in 2011-12 to 1,288 in 2014-15 – securing a collective total of 407 years in prison sentences. Using intelligence, sophisticated risking systems and smart data, we have successfully prosecuted a broad range of professionals and organised criminals including barristers, accountants, lawyers, investment bankers, medical consultants, people hiding evaded monies offshore, money launderers, tobacco smugglers, large scale VAT fraudsters, company directors and organised criminals.

- Customer service has stabilised and has averaged 75% calls handled in the past four years, against 48% in 2010-11. While there were customer service issues in the first quarter of 2015-16, call handling rates are now consistently at around 80% with an average wait time of less than five minutes.

- Sustainable cost savings worth £690 million have been achieved between 2011-12 and 2014-15 – an average of £230 million a year.

- All this was achieved while reducing the size of HMRC’s workforce from 67,000 FTE in 2011-12 to 58,000 FTE in December 2015.

- HMRC is getting tougher on tax avoidance schemes too and continues to see a steady decline in their number. We have secured tough new enforcement powers, closed loopholes and brought in more than £1 billion from accelerated payments in its first year.

- HMRC secured £2.1 billion for reinvestment in transformation and compliance in the 2015 Spending Review settlement – more than the £1.9 billion of efficiencies it is required to make to its core budget.

- HMRC appointed a Tax Assurance Commissioner and reformed the governance of tax settlements, delivering much greater transparency and addressing public concerns about large business and tax

- HMRC is winning 80% of all tax avoidance cases that taxpayers take to court, with many more settling with us before they reach litigation.

- HMRC has launched Real Time Information, Employment Allowance, Marriage Allowance, online tax credit renewals, web chat, business digital tax accounts and the personal digital tax account

- HMRC has set out a long-term vision for transformation, which will see it become a more modern, professional, highly-skilled, smaller and more flexible organisation, mainly based in 13 large regional centres, offering digital services to customers and using data and analytics in ensuring that people pay the tax due.

- The National Audit Office reported (6.2.15): “HMRC is among the strongest government departments in terms of managerial competence and its robustness in managing the risks to its essential function of tax collection.”

Notes for editors:

  1. HMRC annual report and accounts 2014/2015:

  2. HMRC publication of the tax gap:

  3. Tax Credits error and fraud statistics:

  4. Follow HMRC Press Office on Twitter @HMRCpressoffice
  5. HMRC's Flickr channel:

Issued by HM Revenue & Customs Press Office

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the UK’s tax authority.

HMRC is responsible for making sure that the money is available to fund the UK’s public services and for helping families and individuals with targeted financial support.