Crack down on self-employed tax credit claims

HMRC taking tougher stance on fraud

Self-employed people who currently claim tax credits are being asked to supply evidence that their claims are genuine.

HMRC has begun sending out letters to 12,000 people receiving the tax credits in a bid to stamp out fraudulent claims. The move is part of a wider crackdown by the Department of Work and Pensions to tackle errors and fraud in the benefits system.

Those that receive a letter are being asked to get in touch with HMRC to provide evidence to support their tax credit claims.

The department is also reminding claimants that any failure to declare changes in income can result in penalties, and cases of deliberate fraud could lead to prosecution.

Credit checking reference agencies are now being used to investigate fraud in the benefits system as well as data-matching methods to try and spot fraud patterns.

David Gauke, exchequer secretary to the Treasury, said: “HMRC is determined to take a tough approach to targeting possible fraud among tax credit claimants.

“Last year the government launched radical proposals to reduce the billions lost to tax credit error and fraud every year. These losses are unaffordable and unacceptable.”

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