HMRC responds to Treasury Committee's call for review into tax reliefs

26 Oct 2023

HMRC has responded to a report published by the Treasury Committee that urged it to carry out a 'comprehensive review' of current tax reliefs.

The Treasury Committee hoped that a review into all tax reliefs would help to 'ensure any areas vulnerable to abuse' were identified, while also helping to improve scrutiny in regard to how tax reliefs impact the public purse.

The Committee found that only 365 out of more than 1,180 active tax reliefs have been costed by HMRC. From the 2025/26 financial year onwards, cross-party MPs suggested that HMRC publish costings for all tax reliefs.

Responding to the Treasury Committee's request, HMRC said that carrying out a review of all tax reliefs 'would not be the best use of resources', and that a number of the recommendations were already being delivered by existing processes.

Commenting on the matter, Harriet Baldwin, Chair of the Treasury Committee, said: 'Our tax system is too complicated. It is disheartening to learn that the taxman has no plans to even measure the cost of benefit of hundreds of different tax reliefs – something that would help ministers simplify the tax system and target growth.'