By JR on Saturday, February 25, 2012
The amount of income tax paid fell sharply last month in the first formal indication that the new 50p higher rate is not raising the expected amount of revenue.
The Treasury received £10.35 billion in income tax payments from those paying by self-assessment last month, a drop of £509 million compared with January 2011. Most other taxes produced higher revenues over the same period.
Senior sources said that the first official figures indicated that there had been “manoeuvring” by well-off Britons to avoid the new higher rate. The figures will add to pressure on the Coalition to drop the levy amid fears it is forcing entrepreneurs to relocate abroad. [Many businesses have already done so]
The self-assessment returns from January, when most income tax is paid by the better-off, have been eagerly awaited by the Treasury and government ministers as they provide the first evidence of the success, or failure, of the 50p rate. It is the first year following the introduction of the 50p rate which had been expected to boost tax revenues from self-assessment by more than £1billion.
Although the official statistics do not disclose how much money was paid at the 50p rate of tax, the figures indicate that it is falling short of the money the levy was expected to raise.
A Treasury source said the relatively poor revenues from self-assessment returns was partly down to highly-paid individuals arranging their affairs to avoid paying the 50p rate.