The taxpayer stands to lose £78m from the controversial demise of Phones 4U, new documents show.
The high street retailer owed £69.2m in VAT and £8.8m in corporation tax when it collapsed in September, and administrators have warned they are only likely to recover a tiny fraction of the debt.
The debts to HMRC are part of £168m owed to unsecured creditors by Phones 4U. Less than 0.4pc of this will be repaid – the equivalent of £672,000 – according to PwC, the administrators.
And yes, really, Ritchie does count tax owed by businesses that have gone bust as part of his tax gap. He even fulminates about how writing off this sort of debt shows that there aren’t enough taxmen who are all paid too small an amount of money.