Research and analysis

Exploring public attitudes to tax avoidance in 2015

A quantitative survey to explore general public perceptions towards tax avoidance.


Exploring public attitudes to tax avoidance in 2015

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Questions were placed in the Office for National Statistics (ONS) lifestyle survey to help gauge public perceptions and understanding of tax avoidance schemes. This aimed to provide HMRC with a more representative understanding of public perceptions and knowledge of the consequences of using tax avoidance schemes. This will inform our policy and operational response to tax avoidance schemes.

Some of the findings endorse the increased policy and operational response to marketed avoidance in recent years, by demonstrating that the public thinks HMRC has got tougher. Some respondents also thought we should be doing more which supports further legislative and operational action on avoidance.

The findings, where appropriate, will be fed into the design of interventions and policies as part of HMRC’s ‘promote, prevent, respond’ approach to tackling tax avoidance. This research contributes to HMRC’s knowledge base on understanding tax avoiders and supports HMRC activity to close the £2.7 billion avoidance tax gap.

Published 19 February 2016