Personal tax receipts over 32% higher since last election

01 March 2024

Following the publication of HMRC’s latest tax receipt statistics, we can see that in the four years since the last general election, the amount of personal taxes paid to HMRC has seen a dramatic increase of over 32%.

When referring to personal tax receipts, we mean income tax, (employee) Class 1 National Insurance contributions (NICs), Class 2 NICs and Class 4 NICs, capital gains tax (CGT) and inheritance tax (IHT). Whilst individuals pay other taxes, such as value added tax (VAT) and property stamp taxes, it is not possible to differentiate from the published statistics how much has been paid by individuals and how much has been paid by businesses. These other taxes are therefore excluded from our figures.

In the calendar year to 31 December 2019, ending shortly after the last general election, HMRC collected a total of £267bn in personal taxes. That was around £9.2bn higher than the year before, but since then the amounts paid in personal tax have spiralled upwards.

The latest statistics show that there has been significant growth in the amount of personal taxes paid, particularly in the year to 31 December 2023, when the total personal tax receipts collected by HMRC were over £358bn. That is over 32% higher than in the year to 31 December 2019 and almost 7% higher than the prior year to 31 December 2022.

Latest figures from the Office of National Statistics estimate that there are 28.2m households in the UK, up from 27.8m households in 2019. On this basis, the average amount of personal taxes paid per household in the year to 31 December 2019 was £9,605. By comparison, in the year to 31 December 2023, that figure was £12,533 per household. That means households are, on average, paying over £2,900 more in personal taxes per year than they were just four years ago.

This increase corresponds to the trend of freezing tax allowances and thresholds in fiscal announcements in recent years and will also be in part driven by inflation and wage growth. Many taxpayers may have felt they were worse off and paying more in tax and these figures highlight the extent of that.