Govt admits tax avoidance costing each houshold more than £1,500

Here’s one from the TUC last week that I forgot to blog, and note that this is interesting considering the Tories aren’t willing to promise immediate tax cuts if they win the next election – it would be easy to have revenue neutral tax cuts by through enforcement of the law…

In a document published late on budget day with no publicity, HMRC has said that the cost of tax avoidance in the UK could run as high as £40 billion a year. This tax avoidance could cost every household in the UK more than £1,500.

The HMRC admission, contained in the report ‘Measuring the tax gap – an update’, estimates that in 2005 tax avoidance was between £10b and £40b. This figure is even higher than the £25 billion a year estimated by the TUC in it’s ‘Missing Billions’ report. The HMRC say that avoidance has fallen since 2005.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: ‘Even if the HMRC claim is true it still leaves huge amounts of unpaid tax by the super-rich – enough to cut taxes for ordinary people, boost public services and do far more to tackle child poverty than the limited measures in yesterday’s budget.

‘The Government has been hit by concerted lobbying by non-doms and the super-rich, who describe even the mildest attempt to make them pay a fair share of tax as a prelude to the sky falling in on national prosperity. But rather than retreat, ministers should pay more attention to ordinary voters, who are becoming more and more aware that a significant group of Britain’s wealthiest people dodge paying fair taxes.

‘The Chancellor was wrong to rule out further efforts to tax non-doms. Instead, he should call their bluff when the super-rich exodus fails to materialise, as a result of yesterday’s very modest changes.’

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