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Overpaid tax waste ‘tops £8bn a year’

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Around £8bn will be overpaid in tax this year, according to research compiled by lobby group IFA Promotion (IFAP) as part of its TaxAction campaign – and almost three-quarters of people will do nothing to reduce their bill.

The research suggested that, in total, more than 80% of society is tax-inefficient and that this level of error costs £7.9bn a year, a figure £300m higher than the one predicted in the year’s previous report.

It also found that personal tax levels have soared over the last two decades from a collective £40.5bn to £149bn – with 62% resenting the rising bill but 75% not proposing to do anything about it.

IFAP claimed that tax waste will equate to around £160 per person in 2007.

Chief executive of IFAP, David Elms, said: “Suince we launched TaxAction 15 years ago, we have seen a shift in responsibility in personal tax away from HM Revenue & Customs towards the individual.

“Despite the controlling of tax being more firmly in our own hands, we are still throwing away £7.9bn. It is hard to say whether we are disengaged or just confused as to why people across the UK are still throwing away billions each year.”

He concluded: “Simple steps such as filling out a self-assessment form correctly, making a will and taking full advantage of your tax credits could help the UK pocket this wasted cash as a significant UK investment.”



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