HMRC writes off £5.2 billion tax

The figure was down on the £5.5 billion write-offs and remittances in 2010/11, but still made up more than 1% of the total £474.2 billion tax collected.
Overall revenue increased by £4.5 billion (0.96%) in 2011/12 while the amount raised by VAT increased by £9.3 billion, largely because of successive hikes in the purchase tax from 15% to 20% between 2010 and 2012. But the Government took in less money from corporation tax.
Ms Hodge said: "The sheer scale of waste and mismanagement at HMRC never ceases to shock me. Without even mentioning the tax gap, in 2011/12 the department wrote off a staggering £5.2 billion of tax owed, overpaid nearly £2.5 billion in tax credits due to fraud and error and underpaid around £290 million."
NAO head Amyas Morse said: "Our high-level recommendations are that, first, the department should get a better understanding of the costs and benefits of its interventions - such as debt campaigns and initiatives to drive down levels of error and fraud in tax credits. Secondly, it should prioritise and target its activities on the basis of a better understanding of risks, such as risk-profiling of taxpayers."
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