The Home Office
has floated plans to offer taxpayers a cash windfall for denouncing
tax-dodgers as part of a wide-ranging action plan to improve the way the
government seizes criminal assets.
The system would be based on what the Home Office describes as a ‘strikingly
successful’ initiative in the
US which has brought in $11bn
(£5.5bn) since 1986.
Whistleblowers would win a share of assets confiscated by the courts if they
report against a fraudster involved in benefits scams, such as a cigarette
smuggler or a company dodging VAT. Stateside informants receive between 15% and
30% of seized assets in a successful case.
Home Office under-secretary of state
Coaker said: ‘It seems to have been successful in the US. We are asking is
it applicable in this country, is it something that people would find acceptable
and is there a workable model? We think it would be irresponsible for us as a
government not to look at what people are doing overseas.’
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