HMRC Is Shite

HMRC Is Shite
Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Bob The Bounty Hunter

HMRC is ever keen to up the tax take and has, for a number of years, been running a "hotline" whereby people can secretly "grass" on people they believe to be evading tax.

However, those who are not concerned about anonymity and who want to make a nice little earner out of "grassing" on others can receive reward payments from HMRC for tips that lead to successful prosecutions and the recovery of evaded tax.

Exaro News recently raised a Freedom of Information Request with HMRC, and discovered that over £1M has been paid out by HMRC in rewards to informants and "bounty hunters" over the last 3 years.

As the financial crisis rumbles on, so the bounties paid out have increased. The payout in 2011/12 was £374K compared with £309K in the previous year.

In earlier years £384K was paid in 2009-10, £281K in 2008-09, and £156K in 2007-08.

In 2008, HMRC was reported to have paid £100,000 to a former Liechtenstein banker for a list of secret offshore accounts held by Britons (ie HMRC bought stolen property).

Oddly enough HMRC does not openly promote the bounty payments, indeed some HMRC officials even deny that rewards are paid!

In the event that there are any wannabe "Bob the Bounty Hunters" out there then you want to be paid for "grassing", then do ensure that you keep a record and that you make a specific request for payment.

However, don't hold your breath, the process of recovering evaded tax can take many years and payments are at HMRC's "discretion" (ie they can welch on the deal).

Despite this the amount of tax recovered via the hotline is not staggering, between 2005 and 2009 a paltry £42M was recovered.

HMRC, for reasons best known to themselves, won't say how much has been recovered since.

Like it or not, maybe HMRC and the state can't quite turn us into a nation of informers!

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Nothing new about this. When I joined the old IR in 1984, these arrangements were in place and nothing has changed. Having said this, in 20 years on compliance work, I found that information from estranged spouses etc was of very low quality and extremely unreliable. Boasting in the pub was a different matter. I took nearly £100K from a bloke who'd been bragging in the pub about how he paid no tax and got grassed up by a disgruntled punter.

  2. 3 little words, rearrange this well-known phrase or saying;


    then read the HMIP reports on humint/chis wrt HMRC

    then read the press reports about the HMC&E handler in Colombia

    then ask WTF has been going on in there

    its all open source available

    and you wonder about skeletons in cupboards


  3. HMIP = HMIC (Fraudian slip!)