As the traditional saying goes: In life, only two things are certain – death and taxes. Whilst death is inevitable, there are those who unfortunately try to avoid paying tax. This is evident from the ‘current list of deliberate tax defaulters’ collated by the Government (Gov.uk). It details 209 separate cases of businesses/individuals who have deliberately made errors in their tax returns or failed to comply with their tax obligations.
Turnerlittle.com, who provide financial services, assessed the governmental data by breaking it into eleven defined categories:
Manufacturing/wholesale, property, construction, transport, professional, retail/grocery/convenience, other, individual’s in multiple ventures, hospitality and health/animal health.
By breaking it into categories, the data revealed the following:
- Businesses/individuals working in manufacturing/wholesale, collectively avoided the most amount of tax at £12,128,233.71. Included in this figure was a wholesaler of alcoholic goods based in Eastleigh (Hampshire), who alone avoided paying an astonishing £5,527,014.00 in tax.
- Those businesses/individuals in property were the next biggest avoiders, collectively accumulating a hefty £7,215,182.44 tax bill – this figure includes property developers as well as landlords who have not paid tax on income earnt from a property or properties they manage. Information for immediate release Turnerlittle.com
- Anyone working in the field of health or animal care ranked at the bottom of the list, with the least amount of tax avoided at £194,243.06. The individuals cited in the list consisted of a surgeon and medical consultant, both from London, who together contributed £132,162.06 to this figure. Second from the bottom were those businesses/individuals working in hospitality (hotels, nightclub etc) who collectively avoided paying a total of £464,290.56 in tax.
- ‘Other’, which was mentioned on the list, included those businesses/individuals who could not be clearly identified in a specific category – such as a dancer, diver and a children’s play centre. ‘Individual’s in multiple ventures’ were those who had more than one occupation or traded/involved in multiple businesses of different kinds.
James Turner, Managing Director of Turnerlittle.com commented: “The findings from this research are certainly fascinating. The amount of tax purposely avoided is astronomical. It’s certainly unfair on those who pay their fair share of tax. From a greater perspective, tax revenue is now more important than ever to the government. With the uncertainty of Brexit lurking and the government struggling to effectively manage their resources, greater tax revenue would allow them to allocate more funding to improve essential public services such as the NHS. It’s therefore essential every business/individual be prudent with their accounting and lawfully adhere to their tax obligations.”