Nov 8, 2021

HMRC collected £27.9 billion less in tax revenues in the 2020/21 tax year than the previous year as a result of the pandemic, according to HMRC annual accounts.

In its 2020/21 annual report, HMRC said it collected £608.8bn in tax, down by 4.4% from £636.7bn collected in 2019/20. 

Afford Bond Tax Director commented: “Additional revenues from tackling tax avoidance, tax evasion and other non-compliance methods also fell during the Covid pandemic, down by 18% from £36.9bn in 2019/20 to £30.4bn. As you can imagine, it’s not a position HMRC want to find themselves in.”

The annual report said the “unprecedented economic circumstances caused by COVID-19” had resulted in lower tax collection. Inevitably, the scale of the economic impact caused by COVID-19 had some effect on tax revenue. HMRC commented: “If individuals and businesses are generating less taxable income, there is less revenue to collect.”

HMRC’s debt balance increased during the pandemic from £35bn to £57.5bn, partly due to deferrals of VAT and self-assessment income tax payments.

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