Fewer evaders are being caught despite increasing numbers of home visits
There are around 26 million UK premises with the £145.50-a-year licences making up almost 80 per cent of the corporation's £4.8bn income.
Yet fewer evaders are being caught despite increasing numbers of home visits.
Of 3 million enforcement visits in 2015/16 just 298,000 evaders were caught – a fall of almost 20 per cent in five years.
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The BBC has made progress against most of its main performance targets for collecting the licence fee
The National Audit Office estimates the rate of TV licence fee dodging was between 6.2 per cent and 7.2 per cent at the end of 2015/16 meaning the corporation lost between £251 – £291 million.
In a stinging report, the NAO said the BBC's aim to slash the evasion rate to 3.95 per cent by 2020 is "unlikely to be achieved."
Every percentage point reduction in the evasion rate is worth around £40.5million in extra income.
TV license fee dodging was between 6.2 per cent and 7.2 per cent at the end of 2015/16
Reducing it to below 4 per cent would boost the BBC's coffers by at least £91million a year.
Amyas Morse, head of the NAO said: "The BBC has made progress against most of its main performance targets for collecting the licence fee, increasing revenue every year since 2010-11, and reducing collection costs by 25 per cent over the same period to £99.6 million.
"It has, however, had less success achieving its aim to reduce licence fee evasion.
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"In fact, the evasion rate is higher than was previously thought and it is now unlikely that the 2011 aspiration to reduce it to 3.95 per cent will be achieved.
"The BBC has scope to improve further the value for money of licence fee collection."
The estimated evasion rate is said to have increased because of changes in calculating of the number of households that use a TV.
A report said that the BBC's aim to slash the evasion rate is unlikely to be achieved
Number of evaders caught has fallen almost 20 per cent in five years
The BBC and Capita, the organisation it employs to collecting debts, blame fewer evaders being caught on "challenges recruiting and retaining staff, and, in part, due to visits being focused on a more challenging group of delayers and evaders than in the past".
The NAO report also revealed "major difficulties" in Capita's data and technology systems.
Nick Prettejohn, chairman of the BBC Trust's value for money committee, said: "There is more that can be done to make further improvements and deliver better value for money for the public, including in tackling the small minority who try to avoid paying the licence fee and setting realistic targets on licence fee evasion."
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