£5.2bn 'lost yearly in tax evasion'

OxfamTax evasion is depriving the UK economy of at least £5.2 billion a year, according to research published by Oxfam.

The charity claims tax dodgers are costing the UK nearly £200 per household at a time when many are struggling to make ends meet and 220,000 people have turned to charity foodbanks.
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Oxfam claims the unpaid tax could go a long way towards helping "rescue millions from the poverty trap".

Its research, which comes on deadline day for UK tax returns, found money owed by wealthy tax evaders would provide £21 a week to every household in the UK that is experiencing fuel poverty or prevent more than nine million households from being £180 a year worse off by plans to put a 1% cap on welfare uprating to be scrapped.

Alternatively, the cash would double the amount of universal childcare entitlement to 25 hours per week to giving struggling families more flexibility to work, the charity said.

Chris Johnes, Oxfam's director of UK poverty, said: "As many people in the UK submit their tax returns today, billions of pounds owed to the Government are languishing in offshore bank accounts, leaving ordinary people to pick up the tab for support and services that we all rely on. It is sickening and immoral that tax evaders get off scot-free whilst thousands of the poorest families are being forced to go to charity foodbanks in order to provide a meal, or go without heating when it's freezing outside."

Last week, Prime Minister David Cameron told the World Economic Forum Britain will use its year-long presidency of the G8 group of rich nations to push for global action against tax evasion and "aggressive" tax avoidance by wealthy individuals and businesses.

But Oxfam said the Government is not doing enough and criticised the target set for HM Revenue and Customs' Affluent Compliance Team or clawing back £586 million in unpaid tax by the end of 2015. Chris Johnes added: "The Prime Minister's promise to clamp down on tax evasion is welcome, and we need to see him act on this. The negative response from the FTSE 100 shows what he is up against- but the vast majority of ordinary people want to see radical action to rein in tax dodging - and now.

"The current targets are far too low. Six hundred million pounds is a drop in the ocean, compared to the billions that are actually owed. We must get back all of this lost revenue, not only to help fix our economy, but to reverse cuts to support that the most vulnerable need and stop the shame of poor people in Britain going hungry in the 21st century."

Responding to the Oxfam report, a Treasury spokesman said: "We do not recognise this figure but while the majority of people and businesses pay what they owe, the Government is fully committed to clamping down on the minority who don't. This is why this Government has invested an extra £1 billion in HMRC to tackle evasion, avoidance and fraud which will bring in £22 billion a year by 2015. Last year, HMRC brought in £16.6 billion due to compliance activity alone and just yesterday we received £342 million from Swiss bank account holders. This deal is expected to bring in over £5 billion over the next six years and is the largest tax evasion settlement in UK history."


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HMRC's biggest tax cheats of 2012
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£5.2bn 'lost yearly in tax evasion'

Jailed for evading over £4.5 million in VAT due on platinum trading.

Jailed for evading over £4.5 million in VAT due on platinum trading.

A gang which described over 20 million smuggled cigarettes on shipping documents as babies’ toys was jailed after a covert surveillance operation.

Sentenced in 2012: Phillip William Robinson, Vincent Waller, Phillip William Hall, Christopher John Burns and Andrius Kochanauskas – 13 years 1 month

A gang which described over 20 million smuggled cigarettes on shipping documents as babies’ toys was jailed after a covert surveillance operation.

Sentencing: Paul O’Meara, Robert Doran, Patrick Gray, Martin Cleland, Mark Sadgrove, Wayne Stock and Matthew Neale – 24 years 6 months

A gang which described over 20 million smuggled cigarettes on shipping documents as babies’ toys was jailed after a covert surveillance operation.

Sentencing: Paul O’Meara, Robert Doran, Patrick Gray, Martin Cleland, Mark Sadgrove, Wayne Stock and Matthew Neale – 24 years 6 months

Part of a criminal gang which set up a factory capable of making up to 625 million counterfeit cigarettes and five million pouches of fake hand rolling tobacco a year.

Part of a criminal gang which set up a factory capable of making up to 625 million counterfeit cigarettes and five million pouches of fake hand rolling tobacco a year.

Part of a criminal gang which set up a factory capable of making up to 625 million counterfeit cigarettes and five million pouches of fake hand rolling tobacco a year.

The gang set up a chain of bogus companies to trade fraudulently in EU emissions allowances.

Sentenced in 2012: Sandeep Singh Dosanjh, Navdeep Singh Gill and Ranjot Singh Chahal – 35 years

The gang set up a chain of bogus companies to trade fraudulently in EU emissions allowances.

Sentenced in 2012: Sandeep Singh Dosanjh, Navdeep Singh Gill and Ranjot Singh Chahal – 35 years

Roy Faichney, Managing Director of Vantis Tax Ltd, was sentenced to four years for his part in a fraudulent tax avoidance scheme which left charities and Exchequer out of pocket.

The gang claimed to have sold four million mobile phones worth £1.7 billion. However, in many cases the phones did not exist. In an attempt to make the trade appear legitimate, over 5,700 fake business transactions were created to claim large amounts of VAT.

Sentenced in 2012: Lee Sellers, Mehmood Khan Nazir, Umar Khan Nazir and Marshall Boston – 10 years 6 months

The gang claimed to have sold four million mobile phones worth £1.7 billion. However, in many cases the phones did not exist. In an attempt to make the trade appear legitimate, over 5,700 fake business transactions were created to claim large amounts of VAT.

Sentenced in 2012: Lee Sellers, Mehmood Khan Nazir, Umar Khan Nazir and Marshall Boston – 10 years 6 months

HMRC

The gang claimed to have sold four million mobile phones worth £1.7 billion. However, in many cases the phones did not exist. In an attempt to make the trade appear legitimate, over 5,700 fake business transactions were created to claim large amounts of VAT.

Sentenced in 2012: Lee Sellers, Mehmood Khan Nazir, Umar Khan Nazir and Marshall Boston – 10 years 6 monthsgang claimed to have sold four million mobile phones worth £1.7 billion. However, in many cases the phones did not exist. In an attempt to make the trade appear legitimate, over 5,700 fake business transactions were created to claim large amounts of VAT.

Sentenced in 2012: Lee Sellers, Mehmood Khan Nazir, Umar Khan Nazir and Marshall Boston – 10 years 6 monthse gang claimed to have sold four million mobile phones worth £1.7 billion. However, in many cases the phones did not exist. In an attempt to make the trade appear legitimate, over 5,700 fake business transactions were created to claim large amounts of VAT.

Sentenced in 2012: Lee Sellers, Mehmood Khan Nazir, Umar Khan Nazir and Marshall Boston – 10 years 6 months

Sentenced in 2012: Lee Sellers, Mehmood Khan Nazir, Umar Khan Nazir and Marshall Boston – 10 years 6 months

A criminal gang has been jailed for one of the biggest ever alcohol smuggling frauds ever uncovered in the UK. The scam was worth £50m a year in unpaid duty and VAT.

Sentenced in 2012: Kevin Ramon Burrage, Gary Dennis Clarke, Michael Brian Turner and Davinder Singh Dhaliwal – 21 years 3 months

A criminal gang has been jailed for one of the biggest ever alcohol smuggling frauds ever uncovered in the UK. The scam was worth £50m a year in unpaid duty and VAT.

Sentenced in 2012: Kevin Ramon Burrage, Gary Dennis Clarke, Michael Brian Turner and Davinder Singh Dhaliwal – 21 years 3 months

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