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Are HMRC really that dumb??

How could they miss this!!!

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I read in the papers today that HMRC are mounting a huge fraud investigation to catch out companies that submitted fraudulent grant claims during the epidemic. Apparently large numbers of companies were formed that did not trade but HAD THE SAME REGISTERED OFFICE ADDRESS and submiited successful but raudulent claims

Don't HMRC have computer systems that could have easily picked this up or don't they care???  

Replies (17)

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By Slim
11th Nov 2021 09:59

which grants?

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Replying to Slim:
By bernard michael
11th Nov 2021 10:20

Slim wrote:

which grants?

"emergency pandemic funds in the governments furlough scheme"
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Replying to bernard michael:
By Slim
11th Nov 2021 10:37

Ah yes. I've wiped all this from my mind.

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By Justin Bryant
11th Nov 2021 10:06

Bernard, if you search this site, you'll see that's an old story (about HMRC and/or BEIS being dumb there) and HMRC's investigation is well overdue. Perhaps they don't read Aweb?

Lovely to know our hard-eared tax money is being spent so wisely by such intelligent people.

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
11th Nov 2021 10:05

They just don't have any calibre of staff to deal with the data they do have.

Its all sucked into daft IT projects

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
By lionofludesch
11th Nov 2021 11:18

ireallyshouldknowthisbut wrote:

They just don't have any calibre of staff ......

What you mean is they don't have any staff.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
By Leywood
11th Nov 2021 11:48

Oh they do, its just they dont like to do work, turn up for work, have no idea what they are doing, couldnt give a damn, pass the buck etc etc. I have a pal who works there, its his constant moan fest.

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By David Ex
11th Nov 2021 10:13

I feel quite foolish for not applying for a few myself!

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By Wanderer
11th Nov 2021 10:41

The Times wrote:

Hundreds of companies set up after the government’s furlough scheme was established claimed up to £26.6 million from the taxpayer, The Times has learnt. 

Analysis by The Times using official data shows that 7,000 companies registered to only five addresses in London made claims to the furlough scheme between last December and June. Over that period they claimed up to £473 million between them.

Might be a non story?
Without wishing to relive the heartache of 'the forgotten' and all the other's whose furlough claims failed, from the original Treasury Direction
Rishi wrote:
3.2 The employer must have a pay as you earn (“PAYE”) scheme registered on HMRC’s real time information system for PAYE on 19 March 2020 (“a qualifying PAYE scheme”).
so how could companies set up after the announcement have PAYE schemes on 19 March 2020?

Actually the report says the claims were for December on (when they started to publish them) which means the requirement was "(b) that scheme was registered as described in paragraph 4.2(a) on or before 30 October 2020."

SO this means HMRC paid out for companies formed after the announcement & PAYE schemes registered after the announcement!

So yes, if true, a lack of basic checks & they really are that dumb!

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By Wanderer
11th Nov 2021 10:53

Reading a couple of other reports doubt that HMRC care about the £26.6m from those five companies. Pales into insignificance compared with the totals:-

Fraudulent claims on three emergency government schemes may have cost the taxpayer almost £5 billion, according to an analysis of figures published by HM Revenue & Customs.

The tax authority has estimated in its annual report that up to 6.4 per cent of the billions of pounds provided to companies supposed to be supporting furloughed employees may have been lost to fraudsters — meaning as much as £4.42 billion may have been paid to criminals abusing the scheme.

& that's separate from £492.5M SEISS fraudulently claimed & £849M Eat Out to Help Out!
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By Paul Crowley
11th Nov 2021 10:54

Coping with IT is for taxpayers and tax agents only
That was a dead easy logic check so it would appear. Trouble is that it was my money that was being thrown away

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Jason Croke
By Jason Croke
11th Nov 2021 11:12

Are HMRC really that dumb?


Next question please.....

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By Leywood
11th Nov 2021 11:49



Should have picked up many of these before they happened.

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paddle steamer
11th Nov 2021 12:51

You would need joined up systems to detect

Lots of Companies with same Reg Office, really common, when I was FT in practice most of our company clients were registered at our office, so that alone is no smoking gun.

Re active/ non active notification to HMRC re those that they were trading, that should have been easier for HMRC to screen- then again limited software engineers available to write software to assist interrogation of HMRC data.

During the pandemic I know my son was dragged away from what he was working on (some random HMG software) to instead work on software to assist with pandemic modelling, at the time anyone they could get hold of was reassigned as HMG had to move to remote working etc, there was frankly likely more important places for software designers/engineers to be applied.

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Replying to DJKL:
By Tornado
11th Nov 2021 14:11

"You would need joined up systems to detect"

Ah yes, this reminds me of the seriously unattainable aspirations of MTD, ............ joined up systems.

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By Jim100
11th Nov 2021 12:59

Of course there would be scams galore with the greatest giveaway ever. Furlough, SEISS, bounceback loans - billons lost in fraud due to lack of elementary checks but never to be recovered or attempted as too many cases and lack of resources. Anyway, some of these fraudsters are either based overseas or have runaway overseas so absolutely no chance of catching them even if they wanted to.

If I was working for an organisation and implemented an accounting software where there was lack of controls. For example, employees issuing dummy invoices and getting paid into their bank account which I have come across in the past. I would expect to lose my job.

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By Jo Nokes
11th Nov 2021 14:17

I am wondering how they managed to set up paye schemes and fill them with fake employees. I think that in November 2020, the checking system was upgraded, one of my clients was told he could only claim for one employee, although he had two, no problem before that (this was an RTI *****up).

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