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The consultation discussed the principle of conditionality, which would involve making access to licences or services needed to trade conditional upon tax registration. It explored how conditionality could reduce activity in the hidden economy. It did not present firm policy proposals but sought views on the underlying principles of conditionality, the best approach to delivering this, and the services and sectors in which it could be an effective compliance tool.
The majority of responses agreed that HMRC should be focusing on new approaches to tackling the hidden economy, and recognised that conditionality could be an effective way to support compliance. Equally, most responses were clear that any approach to conditionality must minimise burdens upon compliant businesses and providers of licences and business services.
The government will develop further proposals on conditionality and explore options to trial conditionality through pilot activity. There is a good case for conditionality as a tool to prevent non-compliance. The government recognises that conditionality must also minimise burdens for compliant businesses and providers of licences or services.
This consultation is about conditionality, which is the proposal that access to some business services or licences should be dependent on businesses being registered for tax. Conditionality could help to make it as easy as possible to register for tax, and as difficult as possible for non-compliant businesses to evade their responsibilities.
This consultation does not propose firm policy measures, but seeks views on the principles conditionality and how it could help to ensure tax compliance. The evidence gathered through this consultation will be used to inform further policy development.