Well, we know that of course, it’s just that we’ve another reason to know so:
Tax dodging is less rife than previously thought as HM Revenue and Customs has unexpectedly discovered that Britons typically err on the side of caution, inadvertently overpaying on their self-assessment forms.
Contrary to the expectation that taxpayers play down their incomes as much as possible – or, as in recent high-profile cases, evade taxes – a trialled new system revealed the opposite to be more commonly true. An automated system that used existing data to pre-write a taxpayer’s income found that it reduced the income declared more often than not.
Jon Thompson, chief executive of HMRC, revealed the discovery in a letter to MPs. This “had a small net negative impact on overall tax receipts due to improved accuracy of self-assessment returns”, Mr Thompson wrote. He added: “Decreases in overpayments outweighed the reductions in small underpayments.”