13,000 investigations into COVID-19 support scheme launched by HMRC

It has been confirmed that 13,000 investigations have been launched by the HMRC in regard to alleged abuse to the Government’s coronavirus financial support schemes. These investigations follow an announcement made from Rishi Sunak in which he stated the Treasury would invest £100 million into a specialist taskforce in order to tackle any breaches in ruled in relation to COVID-19 support schemes.

A freedom of information request has disclosed that up until the end of March 2021, HMRC opened 12,828 investigations regarding alleged cases of fraud. From these investigations 7,385 cases were related to abuse of the COVID-19 support schemes.

A further 5,020 of these cases were in relation to misuse of the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

HM Revenue & Customs has claimed these investigations have been opened to protect and/or recover from the funds that have been lost to fraud, tax avoidance and other issues.

From the freedom of information request it has been revealed that so far five individuals have been arrested in relation to the job retention scheme and the “eat out to help out” scheme.

In conjunction to these three workers were arrested in January in accordance to an investigation into fraudulent coronavirus bounce-back loans which totaled to £6 million.

Since 1992, D E Ball & Co Limited has been an independent business advisory service based in Telford, Shropshire. With their advisors working with businesses in the agriculture, services, construction and retailer sectors, they have a broad span of knowledge to offer. To see find out more about D E Ball, and COVID-19 Support Schemes visit: https://www.deball.co.uk/

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