Tax statements to show government spend

MILLIONS are set to receive annual tax statements from HM Revenue & Customs showing that welfare accounts for the biggest element of their contribution.

The statements were announced by the chancellor in 2012, providing more than 24 million people with a visual illustration of how their taxes are being spent.

Eight million taxpayers who complete self-assessment returns will be able to access their tax summary online, while the 16 million PAYE taxpayers who received a tax coding notice from HMRC for 2013/2014 will receive their summary in the post over the next seven weeks.

In examples released by the Treasury, someone earning £30,000 a year will be told that £1,663 of their money goes towards welfare, £1,280 to health, £892 on education, and £822 to state pensions. Around £78 of their salary goes towards overseas aid and £51 to the EU budget.

Sending out the letters comes at a cost of £5m, while Osborne has earmarked another £12bn of welfare cuts in the next parliament. The breakdown illustrates that the lion’s share of the welfare budget goes to pensioners, and sick and disabled people.

The summaries are relatively simplified, but more in-depth analysis is available on the government’s website. Osborne said the disclosure was a victory for transparency.

He said: “I promised that taxpayers would know much more about how much direct tax they pay and how that money is spent. Now we’re delivering on that promise by giving 24m taxpayers a new personal tax summary.

“It is a revolution in transparency and it will show how hardworking taxpayers have to pay for what governments spend.”

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