Pounds 12bn wasted, claims Mintel

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The Independent Online
ABOUT pounds 12bn a year is wasted by the British public through poor tax planning and unclaimed benefits and investments, according to the research company Mintel.

The research, sponsored by IFA Promotion, found that pounds 5.3bn was lost through 28 million people paying too much tax. The annual amount is equivalent to pounds 213 for every man, woman and child in the population.

The money is lost through a combination of different factors. One is married couples not taking advantage of their separate taxation. Another is investors not putting their savings into tax-exempt Tessas and National Savings.

Mintel estimates that lack of planning for inheritance tax can result in tax wastage of pounds 755m a year.

A further pounds 3bn is lost, it says, through the public leaving money in low-interest accounts, forgetting to claim old pensions, and surrendering life policies early.

It claims that pounds 5m a year alone is lost through unclaimed horse race winnings.

The rest of the wasted cash is lost through unclaimed benefits and unclaimed inheritance. About pounds 1.6bn is wasted through the families not claiming housing benefit, income support or family credit.

Nearly pounds 2bn is lost when the true owner of a property cannot be traced. This happens if someone dies without a will, or if a beneficiary cannot be found.

IFA Promotion, 0483 461461.