To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much HM Revenue and Customs has paid out in supplements following late payment of VAT returns in (a) 2015-16 and (b) each of the previous 10 years; and what steps his Department is taking to reduce that amount.
26 January 2016
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) does not routinely publish this information.
The Government recognises the importance to businesses of receiving VAT repayments as quickly as possible. HMRC also has a duty to ensure that incorrect or fraudulent repayments are identified and prevented. All repayment claims are subject to automated risk analysis on receipt and 94% are processed for immediate payment. Of the remainder, 50% are approved for payment within 5 days. Repayment Supplement is designed to compensate customers where HMRC fails to make a repayment within 30 days. In 2014-15, HMRC paid Repayment Supplement in 0.3% of all cases.
In the first half of 2015-16, HMRC carried out an extensive review of its repayment process with a view to minimising delays in cases where repayments are not authorised automatically. Following the review, new processes have been introduced and HMRC expects to reduce the incidence of Repayment Supplement as a result.