Taxation: Fraud

Treasury written question – answered on 12th February 2019.

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Photo of Harriet Harman Harriet Harman Chair, Human Rights (Joint Committee), Chair, Human Rights (Joint Committee)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the level of fraud in (a) VAT, (b) customs duty and (c) excise duties at the United Kingdom border in each of the last five years.

Photo of Mel Stride Mel Stride Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General

The information requested is not held. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) estimates the tax gap, which will encompass fraud, for VAT, excise duties and customs duty – the latter is contained within the Department’s estimates of ‘other taxes’. However, it is not possible to subdivide these tax gap estimates into fraud that occurs at the United Kingdom border and fraud that occurs elsewhere. Tax gap estimates for VAT, excise duties and other taxes for tax years 2005-06 to 2016-17 are available in chapters 2, 3 and 6, respectively, of HMRC’s publication Measuring Tax Gaps 2018. This report is available at

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