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HMRC should increase rewards for whistleblowers, says law firm

HMRC should increase rewards for whistleblowers, says law firm

HMRC should increase the rewards it pays out to whistleblowers in line with the US system, according to law firm RPC.

The tax authority paid out over £509,000 to individuals providing evidence about tax fraud over the past year, RPC’s research found.

That figure is up from £495,000 in 2021/22 and a 75% increase from the £290,000 paid five years ago, the law firm added.

However, it is just 1.7% of the sum paid to informants by the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The IRS pays whistleblowers 15-30% of the additional tax collected through investigations instigated as a consequence of information received. In 2022, $37.8 million was paid by the IRS to 132 whistleblowers – 58 times the amount paid to UK whistleblowers.

Adam Craggs, Partner and Head of RPC’s Tax, Financial Crime and Regulatory team, said:

‘More individuals, with evidence of serious tax fraud, would come forward if they knew they could be in line for a life-changing amount of money.

‘Paying a proportionate amount for high quality information that helps secure criminal convictions and the recovery of substantial amounts for the Exchequer would be a sensible step. HMRC has been making payments for information on an ad hoc basis for many years and would benefit from improving the system and placing it on a more formal basis.’

Internet link: RPC website

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