HMRC blocked just £ 28 million on suspicious claims against the UK’s Covid Farraf scheme

UK tax authorities blocked suspicious claims of less than £ 30m in the first year of the coronavirus employment retention scheme, compared to an estimated £ 5.3 billion paid for fraud and errors.

The figures obtained by the Financial Times through a request for freedom of information highlight the trade-offs associated with setting up a layoff system within a few weeks of the government’s order for the first blockade in March last year.

HM Revenue and Customs played an important role in providing financial support during a pandemic. HM Revenue and Customs, one of the three state coronavirus support programs, has paid millions of workers £ 70 billion in wages until it closed in September.

Launched in April 2020, the system was widely recognized for preventing mass unemployment. But it also included a significant waste, with tax authorities estimating that 8.7 percent of all payments in the first year were due to fraud and errors.

By the end of March 2021, HMRC blocked 3,578 layoff claims for a total of £ 28.5 million, according to data obtained by FT. During the same period, HMRC paid £ 61 billion through this scheme.

HM Revenue and Customs said many of the frauds stemmed from activities that were difficult to detect in advance, such as employers requiring temporary dismissals from employees who continued to work voluntarily or at the behest of their superiors.

“These schemes are the lifeblood of millions of people, and HMRC developed and launched them at incredible speed,” he said in a statement. [scheme] Targeted, a minority of people will try to abuse the plan. Compliance was designed from the beginning in the scheme. “

The tax authorities revealed in that Annual accounting Of the total suspicious payments announced this month for the first year, 6.1% was estimated to be due to “opportunistic fraud,” which is defined as “intentional manipulation of legitimate claims.” In contrast, only 0.3% of fraudulent claims came from organized crime groups.

FT clearly This year, a businessman charged £ 27m using records of thousands of forged or stolen employees. Court record Indicates that he was able to move £ 430,000 abroad before HMRC recovered the rest.

David Clark, chairman of the charity of the Fraud Advisory Board and former police chief of the National Fraud Information Agency, said that the relatively small amount of blocked money was “a system to ensure that the money arrived.” It didn’t reassure me that I had enough staff, especially if I needed another major distribution of emergency scams, the right people. “

Jim Harra, Chief Executive Officer of HM Revenue and Customs Told FT This month, the agency predicted that it would regain around £ 2.15 billion of £ 5.8bn scams and errors in three pandemic schemes, including a small income support scheme for self-employed people and a short-term eating out. .. Schematic.

“We can’t recover everything. We will reach the point of diminishing returns in terms of effective use of resources,” he said.

HMRC blocked just £ 28 million on suspicious claims against the UK’s Covid Farraf scheme

Source link HMRC blocked just £ 28 million on suspicious claims against the UK’s Covid Farraf scheme

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