HMRC Pay Out Record £605,000 to Informants
Thursday, 2 July 2015
The amount of money paid out to informants by the HMRC is set to reach a record high of £605,000, more than twice the amount paid out last year, as it attempts to increase efforts to crack down on tax evaders.
According to research from RPC, a city-based law firm, payouts had risen from £402,000 in 2013-14 due primarily to increased public awareness of the possible rewards for informing on those suspected of tax evasion, with much of the increase coming from people providing tip-offs on their former employees and ex-spouses.
HMRC however, don’t publicise cash rewards, confirming that most of the whistleblowers who contact them daily receive no reward at all.
“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 as a direct result of the information provided.” said a spokesperson for the HMRC.
They added “We receive information from a wide variety of sources and it is always used to make sure everyone pays what they should.”
Although the HMRC did not release an official figure for the amount of tax informants helped them to collect, they did announce that they managed to track down £23.9bn more in unpaid tax than last year.
HMRC estimate the UK tax gap to be close to £34bn, or 6.8% of the total tax revenue, which includes error, avoidance, evasion and other criminal activity. Tax evasion is expect to continue rising in the UK, being predicted to reach around £85bn for the current tax year.