HMRC: Funding the Nation

Funding The Nation

Optimising HMRC

Funding the Nation is a campaign set up by the Association of Revenue and Customs and supported by the tax community to evidence the critical importance of tax administration. 


HMRC has a unique role to play in supporting our public infrastructure. As the HMRC mission statement notes “we have a vital purpose: we collect the money that pays for the UK’s public services and help families and individuals with targeted financial support.” It is the funding brought in through HMRC which finances almost everything else. In this way, HMRC is foundational – it provides the financial basis on which the rest of Government operates.

Why our campaign matters

Public Services are in a bind. A decade of austerity following the 2008 financial crash, Brexit, and the pandemic have caused chronic underinvestment. Simultaneously, demographic changes are placing increased pressure on many services, like the NHS, social care, and our local authorities.


The two largest political parties in the UK are both committed to limited spending and borrowing while promising to fix these creaking services, should they win the upcoming general election.


As a result, public services will have to do more with less. This report represents an attempt to show what HMRC can do to help solve this problem. HMRC’s unique position as the provider of revenue for the government gives it a clear role in helping the government fund its priorities for the future.


This report finds £11bn in revenue for a government of any stripe to spend, while suggesting numerous investments in HMRC which would boost the department’s productivity and increase returns in the long term.



The campaign has been delighted to receive the report of the tax community. They have supported our work with their invaluable expertise and they had the following to say about our report. 

Our Report

Alongside the tax community, we have developed a report which evidences how HMRC should operate to best support Governments of the future. 

The report identifies core issues with customer services, and suggest methods of working which would help to reduce these issues in the future. 


  • We estimate that the direct time cost of HMRC’s 24 minute hold time and poor postal services is costing UK businesses around £1bn per annum.


We identify the cost of HMRC’s legacy systems and technology issues to its own staff. 

  • A survey that we undertook of HMRC staff, found that 15% of the workforce lose more than 4 hours to poor technology each week (10% of their working time). 
  • Across the whole department, the same survey found that HMRC staff lose over 4 million working hours to poor technology each year.