UK tax gap drops to record low
13th July 2020
The difference between what tax should be paid and the amount that HMRC actually receives fell to a record low in 2018/19.
HMRC collected £628 billion in tax receipts for 2018/19, which equated to more than 95% of what was owed.
Continuing a long-term downward trend, the so-called ‘tax gap' has steadily fallen from 7.5% in 2005/06 to 4.7% in 2018/19.
The UK's tap gap arises partly because some taxpayers make errors in calculation, but also from tax evasion and criminal behaviour.
Any impact on the tax gap from COVID-19 will be seen first in the receipts from the 2020/21 tax year.
Jesse Norman, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said:
"The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the importance of everyone playing their part and paying the tax that is due.
"Having a secure and comprehensive tax base allows the Government to pay for public services, and to provide financial support in a crisis."
Jim Harra, chief executive at HMRC, added:
"Our role is to make it straightforward for taxpayers to get it right, first time, while also tackling the minority who set out to cheat the system."
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