HMRC 'failing to tell taxpayers of key changes to savings taxes'

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Most taxpayers are unaware of "important and imminent" changes to the way savings and dividends are taxed, because of poor HMRC communication, a House of Lords committee says.

The committee said the forthcoming changes were complex and confusing and had been poorly communicated.

It concluded that HMRC's communications strategy was "inadequate".

A key change is the abolition of the tax deduction scheme whereby banks deduct tax from most interest earned.

The committee said most taxpayers were unaware of the imminent change, and whether or not they may have to file a tax return and pay tax to HMRC on interest earned in future.


The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee is also concerned that the complexity of the tax system and compliance burden placed on individual taxpayers is growing.

It says the government must demonstrate how it is delivering a simpler tax system.

It also called for an effective strategy of communicating with taxpayers and a public awareness campaign led by HMRC in partnership with banks, building societies and other financial institutions.

Lord Hollick, the chairman of the committee, said: "Changes to how we are taxed can have a huge impact on financial planning, including savings and pension arrangements.

"A great many savers will have no idea that from April they may for the first time have to check whether they need to report or pay tax on interest they have received, rather than have their bank deduct the tax they owe."

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