HMRC made inquiries about the tax affairs of 237,215 people last year, compared with about 119,000 in 2011-12, figures obtained by The Daily Telegraph show.
Aside from those taxpayers who deliberately seek to evade tax, there are those who make genuine errors on their tax declarations. The tax system being so complex it is hardly surprising that people don't understand what to do.
That aside, one commentator on the Telegraph site has put together a few numbers:
"The numbers were bugging me so I did a bit of research. I was interested to determine how much each investigator would need to find, to eliminate the £35 billion tax gap. it turned out to be over £22 million per investigator per annum:
Amount of Uncollected Taxes (Telegraph) £35,000,000,000 Number of Inquiries (2011-12) 237,215
Number of Tax Investigators: 1,600
Lin Homer (Chief Executive at HMRC) her figures:
Total Collected by HMRC £474,000,000,000
% not collected (Telegraph - £35 Billion) 7.38%
Total Individuals 45,000,000
Total Businesses 4,800,000
Number of HMRC employees 70,000
Tax Avoidance (14% of total tax gap (the difference between the total revenues that we collect and the total amount of tax that is theoretically due) which currently stands at £32 billion) £5,000,000,000
Calculate 'tax gap' from £5 Billion and 14% £35,714,285,714
Average per Investigator (tax gap/no. of Inv.) £22,321,429
Number of working days per year 223
Average per Inquiry £150,557
Number of Tax Transactions per Year (Karen Mason Table; 2010-11) 34,329,740"
Tax does have to be taxing.
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