Whistleblowing employees surge in tax fraud cases reported to HMRC
Employees’ reports to HMRC over employers’ suspected tax evasion and fraud have increased by 11 per cent in the last year.
Figures from HMRC have shown that over the past two years whistleblower accusations have almost doubled, from 8,900 in 2019/2020 to 15,100 in 2021/2022.
Experts believe the increase is attributable to soaring numbers of employees and former employees blowing the whistle on their companies’ furlough frauds.
According to Andrew Sackey, tax fraud investigations partner at law firm Pinsent Masons, in a number of cases businesses have gone under furlough investigations following the actions of rogue managers.
“A combination of factors from public outrage over furlough fraud, to individual employee disgruntlement, has led increasing numbers of workers to report their employers to HMRC on a scale we haven’t seen before,” Sackey said.
“It is vital that corporates thoroughly check that their managers respected the rules of the various furlough schemes, by their actions and not just by the top level messaging that was in place at the time.
“There is an ongoing risk that a rogue manager abused the system without the knowledge of the centre – and a disgruntled employee (or ex-employee) could report the business for it.”
The news comes as the Treasury has decided to close down its Covid fraud recovery squad in March.
A HMRC spokesperson told City A.M.: “We are committed to ensuring that the tax system and labour markets operate fairly, efficiently and within the law.
“We urge anyone with information about tax fraud to report it to us online by going to GOV.UK and searching ‘report fraud HMRC’.”