HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has been criticised for the way it deals with late tax payments and the debts associated with them.
According to the Committee of Public Accounts, the government was owed in excess of £17 billion of unpaid tax at the end of March last year.
Chairman of the Committee of Public Accounts Edward Leigh commented: "HMRC has been slow to take advantage of the key techniques used by other organisations to manage debt owed to them.
"Its debt collection activities also tend to be conducted on a nine-to-five basis which is not always the best way of contacting tax debtors."
Debt management solutions are critical for HMRC, the report found, suggesting it should find more effective measures of dealing with unpaid taxes.
HMRC was established on April 18th 2005 following the merger of the Inland Revenue and HM Customs and Excise Departments.
It deals with a range of taxes paid in the UK, including corporation, inheritance, income and National Insurance contributions.
The department is also responsible for enforcing the national minimum wage and the recovery of student loans.