HMRC Flooded with Anonymous Tip-Offs
June 18, 2013 Taxation in UK
LONDON – UK taxpayers are keeping a vigilante eye on each other’s tax affairs, and are making hundreds of anonymous tip-offs regarding incidences of tax evasion.
Over the last 12 months the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) received over 72 000 anonymous phone calls, or approximately 200 per day, regarding potential cases of tax evasion committed by taxpayers, according to the results of research released on May 17th by the UK based taxation and accountancy firm Bloomsbury Professional.
The managing director of Bloomsbury Professional Martin Casimir explained that the high volume of calls coming to the HMRC’s dedicated whistleblower hotline is a reflection of the public’s perception of tax evasion, saying “…for many people, wages have flatlined in real terms over the last few years while at the same time the tax burden has increased… that makes them especially indignant and motivated to call the helpline if they suspect tax evasion.”
However, despite the large number of tip-offs, the hotline is the least productive of the HMRC’s information gathering sources, raising only twice the money that it requires to operate.
The research did not reveal how many of the calls led directly to the successful recovery of unpaid taxes, but Martin Casimir indicated that many of the tip-offs provided via the hotline relate mainly to minor tax infringements, which cost more to investiate then they would yeild.
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