Why won’t HMRC talk about the Tax Gap?

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Accountancy Age has reported that:

The government should release its estimates of the tax gap to make tax avoidance and evasion less socially acceptable, the taxman has been told.

Richard Thomas, the information commissioner, said: 'If the public realised the extent to which tax evasion is a drain on the economy, it could create an atmosphere in which evasion and avoidance would be less socially acceptable.'

I entirely agree. That's why I wrote "Mind the Tax Gap".

But The Revenue argue otherwise. They have appealed against a demand from the commissioner's office that it disclose its estimate of the tax gap and the way it calculates it. They say:

that, given the uncertainty of the estimates, disclosure would harm the economy, prejudice the collection of tax and compromise the formulation of government policy.

The Information Commissioner does not agree. It also seems he does not agree that:

if HMRC was to publish the wrong figures for large listed companies, the negative impact on share prices quoted on the international stock exchange could be damaging

Rubbish!!! Having better information on this would let the market more accurately price those shares.

This story will run, and run.

Disclosure: I am updating Mind the Tax Gap right now. I have presented on this issue to HMRC.