The level of debts owed to the taxman which the department is prepared to write off has risen by almost 40% according to UHY Hacker Young.
The firm said the amount of expected revenue HM Revenue & Customs now classed as irrecoverable had jumped from £4.5bn to more than £6.3bn in the year to 31 March 2010.
UHY Hacker Young believed the increase in bad debts had been caused by the recession forcing more businesses to keep hold of money they should pay in taxes in order to pay other bills and keep afloat.
Roy Maugham, partner at UHY Hacker Young said: “The Treasury is very hungry for cash at the moment – they have a huge hole in the government’s finances to fill.
“Our concern is this is all going to lead to much more aggressive debt collection tactics in the future against both individuals and businesses.”
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