Skip to main content
Report cover showing a map of the UK

Financial Auditing and Reporting: General Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General 2004-05

“I am pleased to see an increasing recognition of the key role that financial management has to play in the efficient use of resources and the delivery of efficiency programmes. The continuing steps being taken by the Treasury and departments to improve the professionalism of the finance function are therefore very welcome.

“A number of departments are still finding it difficult, however, to submit good quality financial accounts in time for them to be audited and laid before Parliament before its Summer Recess. It is essential for all departments to recognise the immense benefits to themselves of producing robust, accurate and up to date financial information throughout the financial year and not leaving it to the end of the year. This is essential if they are to improve their resource planning and decision making.”

Published:
31 Mar 2006
Report cover

National Insurance Fund Account 2004-05

“I am pleased that I am able to give an unqualified opinion on the National Insurance Fund Account following the advances made by DWP and HMRC in improving their systems”

“Nevertheless, HM Revenue and Customs and the Department for Work and Pensions need to correct errors in Incapacity Benefit records on the two Departments’ systems. There may be difficult decisions to be taken in undertaking what could be a large and complex task which comes on top of routine processing”

“Poor quality NI contributions information from some employers continues to cause difficulties for HM Revenue and Customs and potentially for the individuals seeking benefits. The hoped for effects of initiatives to improve employers’ data quality cannot yet be demonstrated because of problems with some IT systems in the summer of 2005”

Published:
6 Feb 2006

National Insurance Fund Account 2004-05

Clarification Point 2 in the C&AG introduction (page 26), should read: “From April 2003 an additional one per cent National Insurance contribution has been collected and allocated directly to the National Health Service, bringing the total payments to the NHS to some £16.8 billion in 2004-2005 (£14.9 billion in 2003-2004).” Head of the National Audit … Read more

Report cover showing a man working on a glass desk

Corporation Tax: Companies managed by HM Revenue and Customs’ Area offices

“I welcome the improvement in the Department’s management of Corporation Tax over the last five years, which has led to higher tax yields from fewer formal enquiries, bringing benefits to the Department and company taxpayers alike.

“My report highlights how HM Revenue & Customs can build on these achievements, by deploying its staff to focus its work on tax returns that pose the greatest risk, while helping companies to meet their obligations.”

Published:
13 Jan 2006

Corporation Tax: Companies managed by HM Revenue and Customs’ Area offices

The management of Corporation Tax by HM Revenue and Customs’ Area offices has improved in recent years, according to the National Audit Office. However, the variations in performance across offices offer scope for further savings in the costs of managing the tax and generating additional tax revenue. The Department’s Area offices administer Corporation Tax for … Read more

Report cover

Comptroller and Auditor General’s Standard Report on the Accounts of HM Customs and Excise 2004-05

“Customs’ Tobacco Strategy has had a welcome effect on the levels of cigarette smuggling, and much has been done to develop positive working relations with the major UK tobacco manufacturers. However, in the last two years, the estimated level of smuggling has plateaued. I welcome the Department’s work to refresh their approach to take account of the changing nature of tobacco fraud and smuggling, in view of the growing threat posed by the smuggling of hand rolling tobacco.”

“Customs have been successful in reducing the level of outstanding debt available for collection, and have also managed to increase the amount of cash banked as a result of debt management activities in 2004-05. The failure to reconcile key systems on a regular and timely basis, and the failure to ensure that all amounts recoverable are under active management, though, represents a disappointing oversight which the Department are working to address.”

Published:
10 Oct 2005
Report cover

Comptroller and Auditor General’s Standard Report on the Accounts of the Inland Revenue 2004-05

“Although there is some limited interim evidence that the level of claimant error and fraud involved in the payment of the new Tax Credits may have fallen, that level remained unacceptably high and therefore I have once again qualified my audit opinion on the Inland Revenue’s Trust Statement. The Department expects to have final results for the levels of fraud and error for 2003-04 awards in the Spring of 2006. It must use these results to target a year on year reduction in the amount of fraud and error. It must also ensure that confidence in the fairness of the schemes is not undermined by unacceptable levels of unjustified payments.

“The fact that tax credits awards are made on a provisional basis represents a significant cultural shift for many claimants. The need to repay the Department for overpaid awards has clearly caused difficulty for many families. The Department needs to understand better how claimants can be helped to cope with overpayments: some £2.2 billion in respect of 2003-04 awards.”

Published:
10 Oct 2005

Comptroller and Auditor General’s Standard Report on the Accounts of HM Customs and Excise 2004-05

Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, today reported the results of his examination of HM Customs’ systems for the assessment, collection and allocation of tax revenue during the year ending 31 March 2005. In 2004-05 Customs collected £120.7 billion (net) in taxes and duties. Sir John’s report focuses on Customs’ work to … Read more

Comptroller and Auditor General’s Standard Report on the Accounts of the Inland Revenue 2004-05

Sir John Bourn, head of the NAO, today published a report on the Inland Revenue’s accounts for the year 2004-2005. The Inland Revenue collected some £256.9 billion in the year. Sir John confirmed that overall the Inland Revenue continued to secure an effective check over the assessment, collection and allocation of tax during the year. … Read more

Report cover showing a man working at his laptop

Filing of Income Tax Self Assessment Returns

“The changes being made by HM Revenue and Customs to simplify income tax self assessment returns should ease the burden for many taxpayers in completing their returns and reduce costs for the Department. It is essential that these changes go hand in hand with more accurate processing of people’s tax affairs by the Department. No less important is that those who persistently fail to submit their tax returns be brought to book. Today’s report is designed to help achieve this as well as improvements in the efficiency of the Department’s operations. “

Published:
22 Jun 2005