HMRC responses to inaccurate claims

HMRC does not do ‘sweetheart deals’ with anyone

Fact: HMRC does not do ‘sweetheart deals’. HMRC makes sure every taxpayer, no matter what their size, pays everything they owe.


HMRC collects the right amount of tax due under UK law. We make sure every taxpayer, no matter what their size, pays everything they owe.

There are no special deals or reduced rates – everyone has to pay what they owe whether you’re a multinational or someone in Self Assessment.

Last year (2020 to 2021, HMRC’s efforts saw the biggest businesses pay an extra £13.2 billion. This is money that would have gone unpaid without our intervention. Since 2010, we have brought in £94 billion of additional tax from large businesses that would otherwise have not reached our schools, hospitals and other vital public services.

When HMRC and a taxpayer dispute how much tax is due, there are only 2 ways to resolve this:

1) the business agrees to pay the tax, interest and penalties owed

2) the matter is taken to a tribunal or court

When a business agrees to pay the tax due, there is a legal process to be followed and it is the same for the smallest businesses and for global enterprises. The vast majority of disputes, large and small, are settled this way.

HMRC will never accept a lower payment than we could win in court. We will only accept the full amount of tax, interest and penalties owed.

If multinational corporations do not agree to settle a dispute with HMRC, we will take this to a tribunal, and we win most cases.

The National Audit Office (NAO), the UK’s Independent public spending watchdog, has full access to HMRC’s papers and has previously scrutinised the way that we resolve tax disputes in large and complex enquiries. In 2012, the NAO appointed a retired High Court Judge to examine our largest settlements and concluded that HMRC had obtained good settlements in all cases.

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