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Tax Avoidance And Evasion

Volume 931: debated on Tuesday 10 May 1977

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what evidence he has of Asian immigrant families claiming tax relief for non-existent families; what percentage of those so claiming he has estimated have been doing so fraudulently; what has been the total cost to the Exchequer; and if he will make a statement.

A report from the Committee of Public Accounts in 1968 recorded that of a sample survey of claims by immigrants to personal allowances over half appeared to be fraudulent, and that on the basis of this survey the annual tax loss was about £5 million to £7 million. No subsequent survey has been made and it is not possible to make a current estimate of the total number of false claims to personal allowances or their cost, but in recent years the Inland Revenue has recovered tax at the rate of over £½ million per year from the investigation of such false claims.