TaxAdministrationCrime gangs attack self-assessment

Crime gangs attack self-assessment

Unexpected attack on HMRC's self-assessment system by criminal elements filling in bogus returns

Organised criminal gangs have made an aggressive and unexpected attack on HM
Revenue & Customs by filing bogus self-assessment returns and fraudulently
claiming millions of pounds in repayments.

The revelations have forced the taxman to undertake a review of its
self-assessment processing procedures as it attempts to fend off a new assault
from organised criminals, who have already plundered billions of pounds from
government coffers through tax credit scams and carousel fraud.

The department confirmed that it had brought in ‘other agencies’ to help it
shore up its defences against the self-assessment fraud, prompting speculation
that it was referring to the police and Serious Organised Crime Agency.

The frauds, which involve sending unsolicited SA returns to the taxman and
claiming false repayments, were disclosed in the NAO’s report on HMRC’s accounts
for 2006/07.

The report said that HMRC had discovered evidence of organised criminals
making ‘systemic attacks’ on the self-assessment system. Such was the intensity
of the frauds that in one case 50 purported tax agents were used to run a scam
that involved 14,000 returns claiming £34m in false repayments.

Advisers were stunned by the fact that criminals had targeted
self-assessment. ‘This is really bizarre. I had no idea that this was a problem.
I would never have thought that this could be an area that would be vulnerable
to fraud,’ said PricewaterhouseCoopers tax partner John Whiting.

To read the NAO report click here 

Related Articles

LITRG urges government to consider tax changes in disability work plan

Administration LITRG urges government to consider tax changes in disability work plan

4d Lucy Skoulding, Reporter
HMRC appeal rejected in Tottenham Hotspur case

Administration HMRC appeal rejected in Tottenham Hotspur case

2w Emma Smith, Managing Editor
HMRC issues updated Trusts Registration Service guidance

Administration HMRC issues updated Trusts Registration Service guidance

3w Emma Smith, Managing Editor
New trading allowance: simplicity, but not as we know it

Administration New trading allowance: simplicity, but not as we know it

2m Emma Rawson, ATT Technical Officer
‘Improve rather than lose’ disincorporation relief, tax body urges

Administration ‘Improve rather than lose’ disincorporation relief, tax body urges

3m Austin Clark, Reporter
Are you ready for the Trusts Registration Service?

Administration Are you ready for the Trusts Registration Service?

3m Helen Thornley, ATT Technical Officer
Advisers bullish despite Brexit concerns

Accounting Standards Advisers bullish despite Brexit concerns

1y Fraser Simpson, Reporter
Brexit: Five questions accountants should be asking

Accounting Firms Brexit: Five questions accountants should be asking

1y Fraser Simpson, Reporter