Tax snitchers collect £1m from HMRC

Stat of the day: £1m - The amount that has been paid out in rewards for informing on tax evasion during the financial crisis

by Elizabeth Anderson
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013
Who knew HMRC pays out money to people who blow the whistle on tax avoiders? HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has handed out more than £1m in the last four years in response to tip-offs from members of the public.

Hundreds of people a year have received rewards ranging from about £50 to thousands of pounds, depending on how much tax is recouped as a result of the information provided, according to investigative website Exaro.

In the last year alone £374,000 was awarded. That compares with £281,000 in 2008-09, and £155,950 in 2007-08.

One of the largest payments is thought to have been in 2008, when HMRC allegedly paid £100,000 to a former Liechtenstein banker for a list of secret offshore accounts held by Britons.

But the typical HMRC informers tend to be ex-business partners, former spouses and employees, as well as people reporting ‘someone bragging in the pub’ and ‘warring neighbours’, according to an HMRC spokesman. Better watch what you say at the water cooler…

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