The tax gap means the difference between the amount of tax HMRC believe is legally due, and the amount lost to fraud, evasion, error, avoidance or simply going unpaid. The Tax Office last week published the latest estimates for the year 2011/12, although they themselves admit their figures are far from perfect. Some research has indicated the true figure is around three and a half times higher than Treasury estimates at around £120 billion a year.
These figures do not include the many and varied ways global corporations choose to avoid tax, such as the widely publicised failure of Google, Amazon and Starbucks to pay for the services their businesses depend on.
Even taking the…
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