Islwyn MP Chris Evans has called on HM Revenue and Customs to set out a strategy for tackling tax fraud and ensure that wealthy tax evaders are prosecuted after a critical report published by the Public Accounts Committee.
The committee, of which Mr Evans is a member, said in its report that HMRC is not doing enough to tackle tax fraud.
Mr Evans said: ‘The Government must ensure HMRC can and does track down and prosecute tax fraudsters and dodgers to close the £34 billion gap between what they are owed against what they collect.
“As the Chancellor continues to propose cut after cut to the support given to the most vulnerable in our society, honest taxpayers hear stories of the super-rich and large companies avoiding, or illegally evading, payment of their fair share in tax.
“If HMRC collected all the tax it was owed, this year’s budget deficit would be reduced by half. The government must move away from cutting vital services and move towards ensuring tax is collected properly as a way to balance the books.”
Responding to the committee’s report, a HMRC spokesperson said: “HMRC is one of the most effective tax collectors in the world, getting 93 pence of every pound due. Few other countries have a smaller tax gap.
“We remain relentless and strategic in tracking down the few that try to get out of paying their fair share.
“Tackling tax evasion is an absolute priority for HMRC, with 26,000 staff focusing on evasion, avoidance and fraud. We have increased prosecutions of wealthy tax cheats and our crackdown on offshore tax cheats has already brought in more than £2 billion since 2010.”