HMRC raised £48bn ($67bn) from eight new taxes introduced by the UK Government over the past decade, according to UHY Hacker Young.

The accountancy group said that the raft of new taxes brought in by successive governments since 2010 does not fit in with the aim to simplify the UK tax system. The UK currently has one of the most complex tax systems in the world, with its tax code running to almost 17,000 pages. Comparatively, Hong Kong, which has one of the simplest tax systems, has a code which has fewer than 300 pages.

The three highest yielding taxes introduced over the course of the last decade are:

  • Bank Levy – A tax on UK banks requiring them to pay above the normal corporation tax, generating £24.1bn since it was introduced in 2016
  • Apprenticeship Levy – A tax introduced to fund new and existing apprenticeships, generating £9.7bn since it was introduced in 2017
  • Bank Surcharge – An additional 8% tax on UK banks’ profits, generating £7.6bn since it was introduced in 2016


Rank Taxes introduced since the last financial crisis Total value of tax yielded since the last financial crisis (£m)
1 Bank Levy 24,100
2 Apprenticeship Levy 9,700
3 Bank Surcharge 7,600
4 Bank Payroll Tax 3,400
5 Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings 1,100
6 Swiss Capital Tax 956
7 Soft Drinks Industry Levy 803
8 Diverted Profits Tax 374
  Total £48bn


The success of these taxes may lead HMRC to introduce more taxes in order to cover the cost of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, UHY Partner Sean Glancy warns against this: These new taxes have been a significant burden on businesses, not just in pure financial terms, but in terms of the extra red tape that they have heaped on UK PLC.”

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“As the current Government looks at how it can pay for the cost of COVID-19, it needs to avoid the temptation of introducing new taxes.”

“Every new tax that the Government introduces makes the tax system even more complex and overwhelming for the average business and individual.”