Corporation Tax: Companies Managed by HM Revenue and Customs' Area Offices; Forty-ninth Report of Session 2005-06; Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence

Companies resident or conducting business in the UK are liable to pay corporation tax on their profits, and since 1999 corporation tax is a self-assessed tax. Companies are required to submit tax returns each year along with any tax due, and these tax returns are then checked for non-compliance. In 2004-05, HM Revenue and Customs collected about £33 billion in corporation tax, and it expects receipts to increase to £42 billion in 2005-06. Following on from a National Audit Office report (HC 678, session 2005-06; ISBN 0102936641) published in January 2006, the Committee's report examines the management of Corporation Tax and sets out a number of conclusions and recommendations. Given an estimated 40 per cent error rate in tax returns, the Department should improve its targeting of enquiries into tax returns for non-compliance and its use of risk assessment techniques in order to increase the tax yield. Plans to restructure the local area office network should help reduce local variations in performance and improve efficiency in enquiry work. All companies will be required to file their tax returns electronically by 2010, and this system should realise a number of benefits, including greater convenience for companies and a reduction in Department's costs and errors in keying-in data.

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