MPs staggered by £10.9bn tax black hole

The Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has described government estimates showing £10.9bn written off in unpaid tax as staggering in a recent report.

The committees report on the new Whole of Government Accounts (WGA) for 2009-10 criticised the Treasury after the department admitted it was 'surprised' to learn about the figures.

“We were surprised to find that the Treasury did not have a grip on trends in some key areas of risk or plans for managing them,” the MPs concluded.

Margaret Hodge, chair of the committee, said the WGA has revealed some “staggering numbers” and that this was the first time Treasury officials, ministers, MPs and the public had been able to look at the total cost.

She added that the Treasury had departed from accounting standards by leaving out of the accounts such bodies as Network Rail and the publicly owned bank, leading to the accounts being qualified by the National Audit Office.

Amyas Morse, comptroller and auditor general at the NAO, said in the WGA: “The external auditor of some 16 bodies included in the WGA, qualified their audit opinions owing to the material existence of irregular spending; that is using resources not in accordance with Parliamentary intentions. Of these, two are of significance to the WGA. These cover error and fraud in benefit payments and tax credit payments.”

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Comments
should_be_working's picture

£10.9 bn?

should_be_working | | Permalink

I'd be interested to know how the £10.9bn is calculated ... was it all genuinely outstanding tax, or does it include over-assessments, or Vodafone-style claims that might not have been defendable in court, etc?

estimate ?

The Black Knight | | Permalink

In tax actually written off ?(add it up ?) or a bad debt provision ?

An estimate of tax evaded ?

but I suspect its how much money we thought we needed after we had spent it.

a poor state of affairs.

I think the nation in general needs to give some power back to the real performers.......not leave the confidence tricksters and spin doctors at the helm.

I love it when estimates come in at a precise 10.9 (you must not say 11 that sounds bigger !)

johnjenkins's picture

I think the Professional bodies

johnjenkins | | Permalink

should make a takeover bid for HMRC. Maybe have talks with Government, getting rid of HMRC altogether with resposibility then on Accountants. I don't think that the tax take would change that much and think of the saving. The benefits far outway the crap we are into at the moment.

Bit silly    1 thanks

The Black Knight | | Permalink

johnjenkins wrote:

should make a takeover bid for HMRC. Maybe have talks with Government, getting rid of HMRC altogether with resposibility then on Accountants. I don't think that the tax take would change that much and think of the saving. The benefits far outway the crap we are into at the moment.

 

I thought that was the idea of self assessment ?

It has all got a bit silly to no effect....all this change has not made any difference whatsoever....perhaps sold a few accountancy courses on ML etc.

HMRC are about as useless as they always were at picking the right cases and then following through.....it has always amazed me how the innocent are not believed and are required to give chapter and verse whilst others lie through their teeth and get away with a light touch.

I guess it come down to practice.

perhaps we should all be like the Greeks and not pay any tax...why do they get preferential treatment under European law ?

johnjenkins's picture

It's because    1 thanks

johnjenkins | | Permalink

the innocent don't leave tracks, they don't need to. Grandparents give them money, they put it into an account, forget about it. HMRC treat it as income because innocent have forgotton where it came from.

Others will cover their tracks. Oh this money was loaned to me by my employer to buy a property abroad as an investment etc. etc.

The innocent have always been, are still and no doubt always will be an easy touch.