Three high profile resignations occurred today, Labour’s Catherine McKinnell quits shadow cabinet citing concerns over Labour’s direction, Sir Philip Dilley stepped down as Environment Agency chairman after criticism for not returning from holiday in Barbados during the recent floods and Lin Homer announced that she will quit as the head of HM Revenue and Customs at the Chancellor’s next spending review.
The one that will interest online merchants the most is the HMRC resignation. Lin Homer has had to contend with being accused of not doing enough to ensure multinational corporations pay their dues, complaints that calls to HMRC go unanswered and more recently media coverage and question in Parliament shining the spotlight on Chinese sellers who it is alleged are not paying VAT where it’s due.
Times are changing for small businesses with tax returns to be completed quarterly online with electronic links to bank accounts an online payments and whoever is the new boss of HMRC will have to complete that process. They’ll also have to step up and take action on corporation tax avoidance and ensure all online retailers selling into the UK are turning in the correct amount of VAT to win the approval of UK sellers.