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2010/11 tax gap figures published

HMRC has released figures detailing the tax gap for the financial year 2010/11 at £32 billion or 6.7 per cent of tax due.

The new figure compares to the previous financial year which found it to be slightly higher at 7.1 per cent. The tax gap is complied from 30 separate estimates for different taxes and is also broken down by reason of why the tax has not been paid. It could signal tax avoidance, but also includes customer error or insolvency issues for businesses.

The tax gap estimates now run back as far as 2004/5 and are regularly revised as a result of improved methods and the latest information. The figures published today include revisions going back to 2004/5. Overall the gap has declined from 8.2 per cent in 2004/5 to the figure today of 6.7 per cent.

Exchequer Secretary David Gauke MP confirmed that last year £468.9 billion was collected including an extra £13.9 billion which was originally evaded. The diligence of HMRC, Gauke claimed, was because 'every pound of tax that is not paid puts a greater burden on [the] honest'.

Lin Homer, chief executive of HMRC, said the downward trend was a result of the Revenue's 'determination to support the honest majority'.

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