HMRC admitted this week they have no idea how much revenue is being lost to overseas tax havens.
In a freedom of information (FOI) response, the tax authority said they didn’t know – and hadn't attempted to calculate – how much tax is being evaded by UK residents funnelling their wealth offshore.
At the same time new figures shine a light on the scale of the problem: £570bn is held by UK residents in financial accounts in tax havens.
Dereliction of duty
HRMC have all the data they need to investigate the legality of this £570bn of UK wealth sitting in tax havens, so why aren't they?
Alex Cobhan at Tax Justice Network called the situation “an outright dereliction of duty” by HMRC. Other tax experts suggested it highlights resourcing constraints at HMRC.
We need a properly funded UK tax authority with the teeth – and political will – to investigate tax evasion and enforce the law.