UK loses £9 billion in tax due to laxer enforcement in pandemic | Daily News Byte

UK loses £9 billion in tax due to laxer enforcement in pandemic

 | Daily News Byte

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(Bloomberg) — The UK has lost nearly £9 billion ($10.9 billion) in tax revenue since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic due to reduced compliance checks, a government spending watchdog said, warning of further losses if not more. Not checked for non-payment.

HM Revenue and Customs, the UK’s tax authority, investigated around 30% fewer cases in 2020-21 than a year earlier, a National Audit Office report said on Friday. It was due to the redeployment of staff within HMRC to deliver coronavirus support programmes, the NAO said.

“This directly affects its ability to investigate cases where people and businesses are not paying the right tax,” Gareth Davies, head of the NAO, said in a statement. “There is now a risk that more people ultimately fail to pay the correct tax or escape investigation or prosecution.”

The report highlights the potential benefits to the public purse from stepping up efforts to close the so-called “tax gap” between tax collected and collected by HMRC. Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt last month increased the country’s tax burden by £25 billion – and cut spending by a further £30 billion in an attempt to balance the books.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s ruling Conservatives have also been accused of squandering money raised in taxes by the government, with billions of pounds written off for defrauding Covid-19 aid programs, and other figures with Conservative peers and Tory links are running on charges. Controversies. Money from government contracts during the pandemic.

HMRC collected £731.1 billion in tax in 2021-22. The NAO estimated that after collecting £1.5 billion less in 2020-21, it received £7.5 billion less tax from compliance work compared to pre-pandemic levels that year.

“HMRC must step up its work on tax compliance by allocating sufficient resources,” Labor MP Meg Hillier, who chairs the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, said in a statement. “With significant pressure on public finances, there is no time to lose.”

©2022 Bloomberg LP

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