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Mortgage referrals to HMRC continue to climb

11th Sep 2017
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HMRC continues to receive referrals from mortgage lenders under the Mortgage Verification Scheme, where mortgage fraud is suspected. HMRC, the Council of Mortgage Lenders and the Building Societies Association launched the Mortgage Verification Scheme on 1 September 2011.

Since its inception, the number of referrals has increased year on year and broke through the 10,000 barrier in 2016/17:

  • 2011/12 - 386 referrals
  • 2012/13 - 1819 
  • 2013/14 - 5969 
  • 2014/15 - 7763 
  • 2015/16 - 9257 
  • 2016/17 - 10806 

The growth in the number of referrals arguably reflects the buoyancy of the housing market over recent years but, perhaps, also highlights an increased vigilance by lenders when mortgage applications do not quite hang together against a backdrop of tighter lending criteria.

If the mortgage application information does not match HMRC self-employment or PAYE data, tax enquiries can follow, especially if the mortgage application contains a higher income figure than that declared on the tax return or reported by the applicant’s employer.

 

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