HMRC tax receipts are up £80bn on pre-pandemic level

Posted on Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Government statistics issued yesterday show that HMRC tax receipts are £80bn higher than they were before the pandemic.

Growth in tax returns was fuelled in part by a 35% year-on-year surge in the UK’s capital gain tax bill, which is up from £10.8bn to a record £14.6bn in the past year. This is owed largely to a hike in tax in entrepreneurs selling businesses.

HMRC’s yield from capital gains tax has increased sharply in recent years, with the latest total almost double the £8.1bn collected five years ago and more than treble the £4bn collected decade ago.

Paul Haywood-Schiefer, a senior manager at tax and advisory firm Blick Rothenberg, said: “Self-assessment income tax receipts collected in January and February 2022 [the two months when people were due to pay it over due to extended deadlines] saw a small reduction of just over £800 million from the same two months in 2021.”

“Whilst the self-assessment receipts have dipped, capital gains tax receipts are positively buoyant. Rules on paying tax on property transactions throughout the year mean that there is now a steady inflow each month. Total receipts are up nearly £5 billion (£4.8 bn) in the last 12 months.”

“There was much speculation following the Office of Tax Simplification’s suggestion for an alignment of capital gains tax rates to income tax rates, and this has led to additional trades with investors acting to bank gains before a tax rise that never came, according to Haywood-Schiefer.

He continued: “It just shows the power of speculation, as the government have created revenues here from investors’ fears!”

“All taxes are accelerating year on year at a high rate – way above inflation. VAT leads the way (though those results need to be tempered by the VAT holiday which means the increase in the last 12 months is not reflecting like for like collection), with SDLT close behind.

“It is hard to pick out what is driving this, as inflation is at 5% in the period. SDLT receipts reflect the much-increased property transactions which are some 30% higher year on year, although noticeably the property activity from October to February is lower than last year, which could signify an imminent drop.”

Haywood-Schiefer added: “Importantly, income tax and PAYE is up 13 – 15% – given this accounts for most of the tax take for the Government, the finances should be in a better shape. Going forward CTX (Corporation tax) may be driven by the incoming CTX increases from April 2023.”

“Income tax / PAYE / NIC receipts may increase significantly for March 2022 in advance of the introduction of the Health and Social Care levy. Interestingly NIC receipts remain almost constant between 19/20 and 20/21.VAT receipts for 21/22 are up significantly against 19/20 i.e., prior to the pandemic – possibly due to increased spending post pandemic. Going forward though, rising costs may have an impact here.”

Via @PropertyIndustryEye