HC Deb 16 January 1986 vol 89 c654W
Mr. Gorst

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what amounts included within the totals shown in the 1985 annual report of Her Majesty's Customs and Excise of under declarations of tax discovered on control visits represent no loss to the Exchequer because the value added tax charged would have been recoverable by another.

Mr. Brooke

Exact figures are not available since it is impracticable to classify precisely underdeclarations of tax discovered on control visits in order to identify with certainty the tax which would have been recoverable by another registered trader. However, a statistical sampling exercise conducted by Customs and Excise in 1983–84 suggests that the figure is probably of the order of 10 per cent. (£40 million). The total of underdeclarations shown in the annual report (£409 million) does not include the preventive effect of control visiting which is estimated to provide additional revenue of at least an equivalent value.