More than £27.4 billion has been written off by Britain’s tax collectors over the past five years, according to a new report.
The document accuses HM Revenue and Customs of ‘giving up’ on this massive figure owed on all type of taxes, from National Insurance to income tax.
The amount is the equivalent of about £1,000 for every family in the country.
The report from campaign group the Taxpayers’ Alliance – entitled ‘How the taxman loses billions every year’ – says the amount of money written off between 2006/07 and 2010/11 is ‘ludicrous’.
The money has either been written off because it is ‘irrecoverable’ – for example, a company has gone into liquidation, administration or receivership – or because it is classified as a ‘remission’.
This is where HMRC decides not to pursue debt, for example, if the taxpayer has emigrated to New Zealand and it would be very time consuming and expensive to pursue the money.
The report comes a day after it was revealed that some of Britain’s biggest firms owe the taxman billions, but are regularly let off the hook.
HMRC is seeking to resolve more than 2,700 issues with the biggest companies, including disputes over outstanding tax, with potential tax at stake of £25.5 billion, a damning report from the Public Accounts Committee revealed yesterday.