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PAC seeks tax clarity, and warns on Covid support fraud

PAC seeks tax clarity, and warns on Covid support fraud

The Commons Public Accounts Committee has called on HMRC to offer greater detail on the gap between tax that should be paid on the UK's economic activity and the tax actually collected. While HMRC said the tax gap was estimated to be £31bn in 2018/19, the committee said the figure has a wide margin of error as HMRC does not include sophisticated tax planning by the wealthy and large businesses in its estimate, with legal avoidance methods thought to cost the public purse billions of pounds each year. Meanwhile, the committee also warned that billions of pounds of taxpayers' money may have been lost to fraud thanks to an "astonishing" lack of planning for the economic fallout from a pandemic. It said hastily designed loan schemes and job-support measures have allowed fraudsters to take advantage of weaknesses and resulted in higher rates of error than if the government had been mor e prepared. Elsewhere, the government has launched a Covid fraud hotline, allowing the public to leave anonymous tips.

Read more: The Guardian


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