Figures released today (20th June) show that HMRC are losing tens of billions in lost tax revenue.
During 2016/17, HMRC estimated that the shortfall was approximately £33 billion.
Commenting on these figures, which are equivalent to the entire budget for Housing and the Environment, Liberal Democrat Business and Treasury spokesperson Chuka Umunna said:
“For every extra pound the Government invests in HMRC, tax collection, clamping down on tax avoidance and evasion, it gets many more pounds in return but HMRC is simply not being given the resources it needs by Ministers to do the job.
"Continuing to underfund HMRC is a false economy.”
Figures to be released tomorrow (09:30, 20 June 2019) are likely to show the UK is missing out on tens of billions in lost tax revenue.
In 2016/17 HMRC estimated there was a shortfall of £33 billion between the tax that should have been paid and the amount actually collected.
Robert Palmer, Executive Director of Tax Justice UK, said: “The missing billions that HMRC claims make up the UK’s tax gap is equivalent to the entire budget for housing and the environment. While we’ll never collect all of this, more needs to be done.
“But there is a strong argument that the £33 billion gap is an understatement. Some argue that the actual figure could be as high as £120 billion as HMRC’s calculations miss out whole parts of the problem. To track down these missing billions HMRC needs to be properly resourced. The government must also close tax loopholes and take action against tax professionals who enable tax dodging.”
Analysis of tax returns recently published by Dr Arun Advani and the Social Market Foundation found HMRC had significantly reduced the number of spot checks it carries out. Dr Advani’s research also found that targeted spot checks are effective at finding instances of underreporting and influence taxpayer behaviour in subsequent years.