27 Apr 2017

Fraud investigation service protects £5bn revenue

14 February 2017

HMRC recovered nearly £5bn in additional revenue.

HMRC’s fraud investigation service recovered nearly £5bn in additional revenue last year.

The specialist unit raised £2.2bn from criminal investigations and £2.7bn from civil enquiries in the past 12 months, according to a freedom of information response obtained by Pinsent Masons.

Paul Noble, tax director at the law firm, said: ‘The fraud investigation service has been successful in collecting additional revenue but tax fraud remains very damaging to the Treasury.’

An HMRC spokesperson confirmed the figures, saying: ‘These are great results which reflect the hard work of the highly skilled and professional people in the fraud investigation service.’

HMRC estimates that £16bn was lost through tax fraud last year.

The service was set up in July 2015 as part of an internal restructuring to streamline HMRC’s approach to tackling tax fraud.

The team contains specialist tax and criminal justice experts who deal with serious investigations.

One of the notable cases prosecuted was a group of film producers, accountants, financial advisers and investment bankers who were jailed for 36 years for their part in a £2.2m film tax scheme fraud.

The HMRC spokesperson added: ‘In addition to the £5bn revenue raised, we are very successful at tackling organised crime and serious fraud through criminal prosecutions. More than 90% of our serious fraud cases result in guilty verdicts, and 679 individuals were convicted last year.’

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