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Tax Evasion

Volume 978: debated on Friday 15 February 1980

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people in 1979 were detected in evading value added tax and income tax; what was the total amount involved; and what is the estimate for the loss of revenue by these frauds.

The Inland Revenue estimates that in the year to 31 October 1979 the yield of tax, interest and penalties arising from the detection of evasion amounted to about £91 million in about 54,000 cases. Customs and Excise dealt with 563 cases of VAT evasion during 1979 involving 772 person or firms. The total amount of VAT involved was £3·9 million. A proportion of the evaded VAT was recovered as a result of the investigations but it would not be possible without disproportionate expenditure of resources to estimate the amount of revenue finally lost.It would be noted that the figures for the two Departments are not directly comparable. Customs and Excise also recovered about £75 million VAT arising from 138,000 cases of underpayment discovered on control visits.