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“Fawcetts have provided me with excellent financial support and advice during 2 business start ups and continuing growth. I have a dedicated adviser, Nick Jones who plays a key role in the management and strategic direction of my company and is always accessible for routine and impromptu meetings. Through personal experience i have experienced that the size and scale of a business is immaterial to Fawcetts – the commitment is always the same and they really make you feel as though you and your business matters. I have recommended Fawcetts and Nick to my colleagues and will continue to do so. ”
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Figures released by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) show that the UK’s tax gap – the difference between tax owed and actual receipts – is continuing to fall.
The Revenue has revealed that the tax gap for the 2016-17 tax year was 5.7 per cent, down from six per cent in the previous year and 7.3 per cent in 2005-06. It says that, had the tax gap not fallen, a total of £71 billion less tax would have been collected last year.
The figures show that of the total tax that was unpaid, the largest proportion was from small businesses, with £13.7 billion not paid.
According to HMRC, taxpayer error was nearly twice as likely as criminality to be the culprit for missing tax, with errors costing the Revenue £9.2 billion in lost income, while criminality cost £5.4 billion.
Meanwhile, Income Tax, National Insurance and Capital Gains Tax had the biggest tax gap at £7.9 billion. The VAT gap, on the other hand, has fallen from 12.5 per cent in 2015-06 to 8.9 per cent in 2016-17.
Mel Stride, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said: “These really positive figures show that the tax gap is the lowest in the last five years, which reflects the hard work that HMRC and I have been doing to ensure we support businesses to pay the right tax at the right time and clamp down on tax evasion and avoidance.
“Collecting taxes is essential for funding our vital public services such as the NHS – indeed, had the tax gap remained at its 2005/06 level the UK would have lost £71 billion in revenue destined for public services, enough to build 200 hospitals.”
Jon Thompson, Chief Executive of HMRC, added: “The UK is the only country in the world to regularly publish their tax gap in detail and at 5.7 per cent, it remains at its lowest for five years. I am pleased that the downward trend shows HMRC and HM Treasury’s continued hard work to tackle evasion and avoidance is working.
“HMRC is also working hard to help taxpayers get their tax right by offering support and investing in digital services to improve businesses’ record keeping and reduce errors.”
The Revenue is now touting the forthcoming launch of its flagship Making Tax Digital programme as the latest weapon in its arsenal as it looks to reduce the tax gap further.