Finally, in an act of unprecedented miserableness HMRC have launched four new seasonal taskforces. These are aimed at dramatically increasing tax revenues from Christmas and will be focused on:
- Temporary grotto workers, paid in candy canes;
- Under declared P11D benefits in relation to excessive office confectionary;
- The misallocation of pantomime horses to stock rather than fixed assets; and
- The VAT status of carol singers in the Medway towns.
HMRC are clearly sensitive to the charge of humbug and are providing round the clock protection to the officers involved.
The following statement has been issued by the unnamed head of the unit:
There is a general perception that we at HMRC have no sense of fun and we are conscious that an initiative like this is bound to fuel such prejudice. Nothing could be further from the truth. People just need to understand the meaning of moderation. It’s all very well to open a small box of Quality Street on Christmas Eve – some employees have been stuffing their faces full of cake and chocolate since the end of November.
John Hood, Head of Tax Investigations at Gabelle has commented:
“HMRC are clearly not worried about appearing on Santa’s naughty list! Don’t get me wrong, I like a taskforce, and the Medway carol singers have been pushing their luck if you ask me. I just think that it ruins the magic of Christmas and spoils it for the children.”
For further information on current HMRC compliance activities and advice on handling HMRC enquiries please contact TaxDesk on 0845 490 0509 and ask for Isobel Clift.