HMRC pays out highest-ever amount to tax whistleblowers

A RECORD AMOUNT was paid to tax whistleblowers in the year to 31 March, according to City law firm RPC.

HMRC paid a total of £605,000 – up 50% on the previous year when £402,000 was paid out.

Experts suggest the steep increase owes much to increased awareness of potential awards available for information.

“HMRC does not widely publicise the payments it makes to informants. If too many people know they can get paid for information supplied to HMRC they may be less willing to provide information for free,” tax partner at City law firm RPC Adam Craggs said.

“The sharp rise in payments is likely due to greater public awareness of HMRC’s pursuit of tax evaders. However, many members of the public have an unrealistic view of the value of their information.”

There is no going rate for informants in the UK. In the US, there is a clearly-stated policy of paying whistleblowers up to 30% of any additional tax and penalties the IRS collects.
“The majority of people who provide information to us do so without any expectation of a financial reward. Cash rewards are discretionary and based on what is brought in a direct result of the information provided,” said an HMRC spokesman.

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