The UK Tax Gap Visualized

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

The Tax Gap Visualized - Information Is Beautiful
The Tax Gap is the difference between tax collected and the potential tax out there.

In the UK, official figures put it at a massive £42bn ($65bn). But unofficial researchers claim it could be as much as £105bn ($164bn) or more.

Offshore tax havens. Clever avoidance tactics. Corporate evasion. See how it all stacks up in my latest visualisation for the Guardian Datablog


See our organised data here:

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Show Comments ( )

  • Norman

    Perhaps if taxes weren’t so high, people wouldn’t go to such extreme efforts to avoid them.

    • ed

      Or vice versa: if the buggers evading taxes were caught and made to pay, our taxes would be vastly lower; and in any event UK is about in the middle in world terms of taxes paid and if you don’t like it, I hear Somalia has no taxes….so why not emigrate there?

      • Ian

        What you mean just like the cost of petrol, and when that first hit the £1.00 a litre mark, a few people picketed fuel depots it went down for little and now we’re back paying £1.30 a litre.
        Get real

  • skids

    Not quite as great as most of the material here, but I found these charts from the Atlantic to be interesting:

    Minus, what the heck is “2th” :-)

  • Steve

    It will take a few years to give me back the money they are still taking from me even I no longer work or live in the UK.
    So I kind of support the one that can get away with it.

  • B.Dibaba Senbeta

    Its a global challenge. In my opinion, the tax collection systems, should be independent entities like corporation. A support to bring innovative tax collection systems is emerging. The reports highlight a need for new approach to reduce the tax gap.

  • Martin Eising

    Seems like it is corporations, and not individuals, that result in this gap! Hmmm.

  • kmkat

    As a tax accountant, I saw firsthand the effort major accounting firms put into coming up with strategies to save their clients money on taxes. As a taxpayer myself, I always had trouble with this. But as a minor employee, I had no input nor effect on the process.

  • Ret

    As an accountant, audit will be the solution for tax evaders. But it requires a group of competent and faithful auditors to attain success. In our country, tax evasion is more obvious. The government must also take extra efforts to chase off evaders. Legislators should also implement sound tax system that will not burden taxpayers.

  • Dominic A

    I’m assuming that this includes the clever (perfectly legal) tax avoidance schemes that Guardian Media Group has been using?

    Just asking…

    In 2008 The Guardian made £302 million in profits and paid no corporation taxes.

    Guardian Media Group holds hundreds of millions in assets in a Caymans Island domiciled offshore corporation.

    The old Scott Trust was set up in 1936 to avoid inheritance taxes and wound up in 2008 so that GMG could cynically exploit the SSE capital gains tax shelter to pay 0% in corporation taxes on their £302 million in profits that year when it sold its shares in Auto Trader publisher Trader Media Group.