Tax gap remains steady at 5.1%

24 Jun 2022

The estimated tax gap for the 2020/21 tax year is 5.1% – the second lowest recorded percentage – and is unchanged from the previous year, according to the latest data from HMRC.

The annual Measuring Tax Gaps publication estimates the difference between the total amount of tax expected to be paid and the total amount of tax actually paid during the financial year. HMRC says that the majority of taxpayers pay the tax that is owed.

In monetary terms, the tax gap for the 2020/21 tax year is £32 billion. At 5.1%, there has been no change in the percentage tax gap compared to the previous year, although the monetary value has fallen by £2 billion from £34 billion in the 2019/20 tax year.

According to HMRC, the total tax due to be paid fell from £672 billion in 2019/20 to £635 billion in 2020/21 due to the economic impact of COVID-19.

Jonathan Athow, HMRC's Director General for Customer Strategy and Tax Design, said: 'The vast majority of taxpayers and businesses paid the correct amount of tax owed. We want to help everyone to get their tax right as the revenue we raise helps fund our vital public services.'

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