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Lost VAT in the EU

Posted: September 11, 2015

HMRC is looking to turn the heat up on VAT payments after recent figures showed a whopping shortfall of €168 billion.

According to figures just released by the European Commission the amount of VAT collected by the EU Member States in 2013 was significantly less than the amount expected, and did not improve on previous figures.

The values recorded showed some €168 billion of VAT lost as a result of fraud, evasion, tax avoidance, bankruptcy, financial insolvencies and miscalculation, equalling some 15.2% of revenue.

There are no figures available for more recent periods, but pressure is being applied by the Commission to close this ‘VAT Gap’.

The implication of this is that in the UK there is bound to be increased attention and attempts by HMRC to challenge measures to reduce the impact of VAT and to scrutinise VAT repayments more closely. Quite how this will be achieved with reduced budgets and personnel numbers in the department remains to be seen.