The UK’s tax gap created through evasion, avoidance and collecting problems rose by £4bn 2008/09 to £42bn.
The gap, which equates to 9 per cent of all tax revenues, is up from £38bn in 2007/08. It remained at around £38bn between 2004 and 2008, meaning last year was the first time missing revenues have increased since HM Revenue & Customs began assessing the gap.
The biggest gap is for VAT, of which 16 per cent of revenues are unpaid, up from 12.5 per cent in 2007/08. Corporation Tax revenues are down 13.9 per cent, up from 12.3 per cent in 2007/08.
This news comes after HMRC recently admitted that it has wrongly calculated millions of Britons’ taxes last year.
Exchequer Secretary David Gauke says: “The tax gap number is staggering and this Government is committed to taking the necessary action to bring it down by taking steps to reduce tax avoidance and evasion, including by the richest people in our society, so that everyone pays their fair share and we reduce the tax gap over the coming years.”