Taxpayers lose big per annum, Chancellor strikes back

Industry news roundup: week ended 12 Dec 2013:

This week, it was revealed that taxpayers lose out on some £55 billion in tax avoidance, tax fraud, and simple error; the Chancellor wants that gap closed.

So much for cutting the deficit: between annual fraud of £20 billion and the tax gap – the amount of money collected by Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs versus how much the taxman expected to collect – has increased to £35 billion. Lots of good news for taxpayers, eh?

At this point, I’d be up in arms about the Government’s spending habits and its poorly thought out schemes that have been essentially flushing money down the toilet for, well let’s face it: for years now. Perhaps if the Government would stop mucking about we wouldn’t have such a large bloody gap, though I won’t say that fraud isn’t a problem. I wonder if that £20 billion fraud figure includes all the tax avoidance that multinationals engage in by funneling their pre-tax profits overseas before the tax authority can get their fair share.

Speaking of getting your fair share, chancellor George Osborne announced recently that he’s got a plan to crack down on tax planning measures that are overly aggressive. His new scheme could reclaim as much as £7 billion, according to Mr Osborne. Of course this £7 billion would be spread out over several years, which kind of minimises the impact the extra revenue will have on that £55 billion figure. Will there be more than £7 billion in increased tax avoidance over the next year or so? Well I suppose that’s a good question isn’t it?

Honestly this whole situation is a mess, and it’s not really the fault of any one class of British citizen or sector of the Government. Oh wait, wasn’t there some horrid near-meltdown of the financial sector a few years back? You know, the one that saw all too many Brits losing their savings, their jobs, or even their homes? The one that completely mangled the worldwide economy so badly that we’re still feeling it today? Hmm, I wonder if it’s their fault?

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