People significantly underestimate how much tax revenue comes from businesses, a poll conducted by Ipsos on behalf of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) finds. On average the public think only 17% of total tax revenue is provided by business. In fact, in 2014, business paid nearly £175 billion in tax – 29% of all taxes.
The survey also showed the public massively overestimate the Corporation Tax Gap. On average, the public think there is a 31% gap in what HMRC expects to collect in Corporation Tax and what is actually paid. Yet the latest HMRC statistics show that the actual figure is 9% - £3.9 billion in the year 2012-13.
The findings suggest one influence on public opinion could be the recent cases of high profile companies engaging in tax avoidance, with nearly a quarter of customers (23%) having actively avoided a company within the last year because of its tax affairs.
Other key findings include:
- Nearly half the public (43%) say requiring business to clearly explain the amount of tax they pay would increase their trust in business as responsible taxpayers.
- On average, people think over a third of businesses (36%) have not paid the full amount of tax they should on their profits, their purchases or other tax responsibilities in the last year. However, this compares with people thinking that just over a quarter (28%) of private individuals have also not paid the full amount of tax they should in the past year.
- Nearly two-thirds of people (64%) think business doesn’t care whether the public think they pay their fair share of tax. 61% think businesses don’t even pay the fair amount of tax.
- Almost eight in ten (79%) think it is the Government’s responsibility to ensure that businesses pay the right amount of tax by making the rules clear, enforcing them and closing loopholes.
- Nearly three quarters of people (71%) think the Government is not doing enough to prevent corporate tax avoidance.
- The Ipsos survey was conducted between 9th and 13th October using i:Omnibus – Ipsos’s online panel. 1,097 people responded.