Select Committee on Northern Ireland Affairs Minutes of Evidence


Supplementary information submitted by the Inland Revenue

  1.  In response to the questions at 290-93, we promised to provide the Committee with information about the cost/yield ratio of the Inland Revenue's compliance work in our local offices in Northern Ireland, comparing it with the equivalent ratios in other Inland Revenue regions.

  2.  The Inland Revenue's local services are divided into seven regions. The ratios in the table below cover these seven regions for the current year, ie the period from 1 April 2001 to 31 January 2002. They relate to the enquiries which we make into income tax and corporation tax returns. The information is as follows:

COMPLIANCE ACTIVITIES; CORPORATION TAX AND INCOME TAX SELF-ASSESSMENT COST: YIELD

  
Cost: Yield Ratio
Ranking
Central
5.35
3
London
6.49
1
Northern
4.52
5
Northern Ireland
5.48
2
Scotland
4.25
6
Southern
5.13
4
Wales
2.74
7
National
5.07
 
Note: The meaning of the figures is that nationally, for example, for every £1 of cost these activities bring in £5.07 of tax yield.


  3.  As will be seen from the table, Northern Ireland ranks second to London, out of the seven regions. It is difficult to know what factors lie behind this. One factor, for example, may be that our staff in Northern Ireland are in many cases more experienced (because of lower staff turnover) than in some other parts of the United Kingdom. We would hesitate before concluding that the figures demonstrate more significant hidden or illegitimate economic activity in Northern Ireland than elsewhere.

7 March 2002


 
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