Fancy a few quid?
The taxman has boosted payments to those tipping it off about tax dodgers. They include disgruntled employees and spouses who â€śknow where the bodies are buriedâ€ť, says the law firm RPC.
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) paid ÂŁ473,000 to informants in the 12 months to April 2020 â€” up from ÂŁ290,250 in the same period the year before. The firm says payments are likely to increase further as HMRC seeks to plug a hole caused by the economic fallout from Covid-19. HMRC strongly denies this, saying it is speculation. HMRC is looking into 8,300 cases of furlough fraud.
Adam Craggs, the head of tax investigations at RPC, said: â€śDisgruntled employees may tip off HMRC as a way of getting back at their employer. HMRC needs to ensure that it carries out appropriate due diligence to ensure the information it receives is credible.â€ť
In some cases the data provided by an informant may have been obtained illicitly, raising â€ścertain ethical issues for HMRCâ€ť, RPC claims. Another useful source of information is former spouses, it said.
HMRC receives a â€ślarge numberâ€ť of tip-offs to a dedicated hotline in relation to small-scale tax evasion, RPC said. Businesses are required to have reasonable prevention procedures to stop their employees facilitating tax evasion. HMRC is investigating 30 cases with more than a third relating to the financial services sector, according to the accountancy firm Moore Kingston Smith.