Recently formed fraud investigation service pays dividends for HM Revenue and Customs
Much Needed: the Fraud investigation Service has added £5 billion to the HMRC coffers. Image by Elnur (via Shutterstock).
Paying your fair share is always a good business plan. Especially where Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs are concerned. After the Panama Papers story came to light in 2015, HMRC formed its Fraud Investigation Service. This year, it has added £5 billion to the Treasury’s coffers.
Most of the £5 billion came from civil cases. This to the tune of £2.7 billion. The remainder, £2.2 billion, via criminal investigations. One of them was a £2.2 million tax avoidance scheme. A group of film producers, accountants, and financial advisors were jailed for 36 years.
Another fraud investigation (covered in the Aberdeen Press and Journal) led to a two and a half year jail sentence for a Scottish potato merchant. Scott Coupland submitted a string of false VAT returns between March 2011 and November 2012. During which, the defendant said a business downturn led to him brokering a deal in Nigeria.
The launch of HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service has seen the Treasury focus on complex cases instead of simple ones. Last year, £16 billion has been lost in tax fraud, representing nearly half of the HMRC’s tax gap of £34 billion. The estimated figures were released by Pinsent Masons.