The Car Wash Association has urged the Treasury and HMRC to crack down on unpaid taxes in the illegal car wash sector.

Responding to the Public Accounts Committee’s 2020-2021 HMRC performance report, Gordon Balmer, executive director of the Car Wash Association, said: “It is unacceptable that the government is asking people to make responsible financial decisions when the Treasury itself is owed an astonishing £42bn in unpaid taxes.

“We have made multiple representations to ministers and senior officials at both the Treasury and HMRC, with no engagement to date. pointing out the enormous amount of tax that is avoided by illegal hand car washes that enjoy an annual income of roughly £1.5bn while competing unfairly with compliant hand and automated car wash operations.

“Cracking down on these unscrupulous operators would have the simultaneous impact of increasing HMRC’s tax revenue and combatting modern slavery.”