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HMRC Puts Covid Fraudsters On Notice!

The crackdown begins ...


Posted by Roger Eddowes on 01/07/2021 @ 8:00AM

During his Budget 2021 speech back in March, the Chancellor told us that HMRC is setting up a new taskforce called the Taxpayer Protection Taskforce to crackdown on Covid fraudsters ...

Arrests have been made in the crackdown on Covid fraudsters, although penalties are more likely for most!

Arrests have been made in the crackdown on Covid fraudsters, although penalties are more likely for most!

copyright: alphaspirit / 123rf

The taskforce has more than 1,250 officers assigned to it, and it will be looking into abuse of the various Government pandemic support schemes.

"Over £61 billion has been claimed by businesses under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme!"

HMRC is assuming that 5-10 per cent of CJRS claims are incorrect. This will range from innocent errors to deliberate fraud, which means there could be a £6.1 billion black hold in the public purse. They are currently looking at over 27,000 high-risk claims where it believes a serious error was made.

Arrests have already been made, with a couple from West Yorkshire being arrested over a £3.4 million CJRS fraud, although they were also charged with VAT evasion and money laundering at the same time. It's a positive step, but a mere drop in the ocean of that £6.1 billion overall. SEISS claimants are also being looked at, so HMRC is taking this very seriously.

"Have you discovered an error with your CJRS or SEISS claims?"

I'd advise you to speak to your accountant first then disclose the error to HMRC as soon as you can. It's far better to take positive action than wait for them to contact you. And if you are contacted, don't bury your head in the sand, or the penalties could be much worse in the long run.

Until next time ...

Business Godparent


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About Roger Eddowes ...


Roger trained at Edward Thomas Peirson & Sons in Market Harborough before working at Hartwell & Co, followed by Chancery, as a partner. He started Essendon Accounts and Tax with Helen Beaumont in 2014 as a general practitioner with a hands-on approach.

Roger loves getting his hands dirty, working with emerging, small-to-medium and family businesses to ensure they receive the best possible accountancy advice. Roger utilises an extensive network of business contacts to leverage the best guidance and practical solutions.