Tax rates

Rates for every kind of tax, as well as summaries of what the government plans to change about each, are listed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Data tables are put out separately.

Historical tax rates, allowances and thresholds (amounts of money above which higher rates are charged) have been summarised in one place by the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

Who pays what

HMRC records the total number of taxpayers, which is mainly those liable to pay income tax and those traders liable to pay VAT.

There are breakdowns for the number of people liable to pay different rates of tax, how much they effectively pay and how much everybody contributes to the public purse.

Government tax receipts

There are figures showing how much the government brings in from each kind of tax in HMRC’s main receipts tables. Detailed figures on income tax and other personal taxes are also published by HMRC.

Figures on other taxes, including VAT, tobacco and alcohol duties are published separately on HMRC's UK Trade Info site.

Historical tax receipts from the 1960s onwards have been compiled by the Institute for Fiscal Studies based on correspondence with HM Treasury.

Forecasts are published by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), which works with government departments to model how taxes and spending are likely to change in the near and long-term future. These figures have large margins of error for obvious reasons, and are only broadly indicative. The OBR publishes the numbers as public finance forecasts.

Council Tax

Figures for rates and collections of Council Tax are published by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

To find out the Council Tax band of a particular address, the website has a useful search function. To find out the rates of Council Tax bands in any particular area, the Valuation Office Agency publishes detailed lists of valuations across England and Wales.

Stamp duty

Stamp duty levels and rates are published by HM Revenue and Customs. The number of properties liable to incur stamp duty when sold is published separately by HMRC in its tables of property transactions in the UK.

Tax policy

The Office for Budget Responsibility has summarised the financial effects of all major tax policy measures announced in Budgets since 1970. The Institute for Fiscal Studies supplement this with a descriptive list of the changes.

What would happen if…

For those who fancy themselves as Chancellor of the Exchequer, a list of expected effects on the public purse from nudging various tax rates and allowances is published as HMRC’s ‘ready reckoners’.

Tax avoidance and evasion

HMRC doesn’t recoup all the tax it’s owed. Some companies or individuals use whatever legal loopholes they can to reduce their tax bill (which can be avoidance) and others simply break the law (evasion).

HMRC tries to measure its total ‘tax gap’ and the gaps for specific types of tax, while stressing that there are “many sources of potential error” and any estimate should be treated with caution.