TAX chiefs lost a massive £42billion last year — as ministers put up levies for struggling families, a report has said.
The HMRC failed to collect billions through unpaid taxes but still raked in the highest amount in duties on record at £731bn, the Commons Public Accounts Committee said.
Dame Meg Hillier, chair of the committee, said the amount “would have filled a lot of this year’s infamous public spending black hole”.
She lashed out: "But the public purse will continue missing out on billions of desperately needed revenues as HMRC will only employ more staff to tackle compliance over the next few years – not fast enough to dent the tax gap at a time of huge public sector spending pressures."
The committee demanded more be done to claim unpaid taxes back during the squeeze on the nation’s finances.
A HMRC spokesman said: “We continue to prioritise collecting unpaid taxes, which is why are adding a further 2.500 people to our compliance teams.
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“We take a supportive approach to taxpayers in debt and balance that with recovering debt from those who can afford it.
"A blanket approach would put thousands of people and businesses to the wall.
“The Covid support schemes protected millions of jobs and businesses during the unprecedented pandemic, and whilst we ensured payments were not unnecessarily delayed we also minimised fraud through compliance checks and have protected £1.2 billion so far.”
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