U.K. Revenue Department Increased Tax Collection, Auditors Say

March 1 (Bloomberg) -- Britain’s Revenue and Customs office raised 4.3 billion pounds ($6.9 billion) from programs aimed at preventing tax evasion in the five years through 2011, the public spending watchdog said.

The National Audit Office said in a report today that the revenue department will collect an additional 8.9 billion pounds of extra tax between the current year and the fiscal year through March 2015. The office could raise even more revenue were it not for “slippage in delivering projects.”

“The department could achieve better value for money from its investment in compliance work by improved understanding of the impact of individual projects and ensuring that its staff have the capacity to exploit new systems to the full,” Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, said in an e-mailed statement in London today.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne is under pressure to close tax loopholes used by the wealthy at a time when he is cutting spending and raising taxes to narrow the budget deficit.

The Treasury this week announced it had acted to stop the use of two “aggressive” tax-avoidance schemes disclosed by a bank, ensuring the payment of more than 500 million pounds in tax. Barclays Bank Plc subsequently said that it was the institution involved, adding that it would comply with the decision to close the loopholes.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gonzalo Vina in London at gvina@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net