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Tax Evasion

Volume 488: debated on Wednesday 25 February 2009

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many staff in (a) his Department and (b) its agencies were employed in tackling tax (a) fraud and (b) evasion in each year since 1997. (257015)

HM Revenue and Customs’ compliance activity covers all aspects of compliance behaviour from error through to evasion. As a consequence, it is not possible to provide the information requested.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of tax evasion in the last 12 months. (257161)

There are no estimates of the revenue lost specifically to tax evasion in the last 12 months. HMRC has published its latest available estimates of tax losses in the 2008 Autumn Performance Report:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/about/autumn-report-2008.pdf

While the estimates given in this report include evasion they also encompass other causes of losses, for example, failure to take reasonable care and tax avoidance.