NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

BRITISH PAY £7.9 BILLION IN UNNECESSARY, AVOIDABLE TAX

March 7, 2007

Some 82 percent of adult citizens in the U.K. will waste as much as £7.9 billion (about U.S. $15.2 billion) by paying unnecessary and avoidable taxes in 2007, according to a survey by an independent financial advisory website.

According to the authors of the report:

  • Some 62 percent of people who pay the taxes resent the increasing tax burden -- personal tax levels have gone up in the country from a collective £40.5 billion (about U.S. $78.1 billion) to £149 billion (about U.S. $287.3 billion) in the last 20 years.
  • Yet 74 percent of people have done nothing to reduce the burden, meaning that tax-paying citizens are currently throwing away an average of £160 (about U.S. $308) each on tax in 2007, which is an increase of 68 per cent in five years.

One of the main areas where people throw away money is the inheritance tax, the report added:

  • It is estimated that more than £1.5 billion ($2.9 billion) will be paid in the "death taxes" in 2007, which is an increase of 16 percent lost to the tax in 2006.
  • Payment of this the entire amount could be avoided if people planned their estates better; in 2006-2007, the nearly 43 percent of the tax collected by the government could have been paid unnecessarily.

The researchers also say that people will pay £382 million (about U.S. $736 million) in taxes in 2007 that could be saved using the individual savings account allowance, and £739 million (about U.S. $1.42 billion) that could be cut by making the most of pension contributions.

Overall, David Elms, chief executive of the unbiased.co.uk, the firm that authored the report, says the money people are throwing away is enough each year to make a millionaire a day for the next 21 years.

Source: Bharat Rathode, "British people pay £7.9 billion in unnecessary, avoidable tax," earthtimes.org, March 2, 2007.

 

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