Martin Swain, Director
HMRC launches 13,000 investigations into abuse of he COVID-19 support schemes.
As expected HMRC have started the process of clawing back fraudulent claims made on Covid-19 financial support schemes. They have launched almost 13,000 investigations into alleged abuse of the government’s coronavirus (COVID-19) financial support. Focus has been placed on payments made to companies in the form of grants and furlough since its inception in March 2020.
A freedom of information request has revealed that, up to the end of March 2021, HMRC had opened 12,828 investigations into alleged cases of fraud. Over 61% (7,384) of these new investigations related to abuse of the COVID-19 support schemes.
A further 5,020 investigations have been launched into the alleged misuse of the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).
What HMRC had to say
Commenting on the matter, a spokesperson for HMRC said:
‘It is vital we support businesses to recover by ensuring a level playing field, so the majority are not undercut by the few who tried to cheat the system.
‘We are taking tough action to tackle fraudulent behaviour. We have now opened more than 12,000 inquiries into claimants we suspect may have kept more than they were entitled to. We have also begun a handful of criminal investigations.’
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