Just one in ten (10%) Britons are consulting an accountant or IFA on tax planning issues, research from Fidelity International suggests.
Yet tax illiteracy is rife, with an estimated 33 million UK tax payers saying they are confused about how the system works.
Over one in seven (15%) UK taxpayers say they are unaware which tax band they are currently in.
Among those claiming to know over a quarter (26%) of people with taxable income in excess of £50,000 believe they only pay the 20% basic rate of tax.
Gaps in tax knowledge could result in people paying more tax because their savings and investments are not tax efficient.
Of those surveyed, two in five (38%) have yet to take any action to make themselves more tax efficient, with a quarter believing there is nothing they can do to reduce their tax liability.
While 41% of Britons say their taxes increased in the last five years and almost two thirds (63%) expect them to rise again by 2014, only 15% are using tax efficient savings and investment wrappers to cut their tax burden.
As a result, Fidelity is launching a ‘Know Your Tax' campaign to increase public knowledge about taxes and how to make their savings more tax efficient using the different savings tax breaks available.
Paul Kennedy, head of tax and trust planning at Fidelity International, says: "Just as the Government takes a slice of your earnings in tax so too does it take a slice of the returns you make on savings and investments.
"By planning our savings and investment wisely, we can make them more tax efficient. Tax efficient, simply means arranging things in a way so that we keep the tax on our savings and investments to a minimum...and that means more for us and less for the taxman."
He adds: "We believe everyone should have some level of understanding about their own position otherwise; they could be throwing money away. There are a number of steps people can take and we hope to help Britons better understand how to invest wisely."
Achievements, charity work and other happy snippets
Laughable excuses for persisting
Spent 56 years at Schroders
Warns on profits