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Tax Credits

Volume 405: debated on Tuesday 13 May 2003

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many multiple identity tax credit fraud investigations are under way; and what the maximum number of identities assumed for a given case is. [112341]

There are currently 18 multiple identity tax credit fraud investigations under way. The maximum number of suspected false identities in one case is 200.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many multiple identity tax credit fraud investigations have been conducted in each year since tax credits were introduced; and what the maximum number of identities assumed for a given case was in each of those years. [112342]

In 1999–2000 there was one investigation This involved one suspected false identity.In 2000–01 there were 10 investigations involving multiple identity tax credit fraud. The maximum number of suspected false identities in one case was 66.In 2001–02 there were 18 investigations involving multiple identity tax credit fraud. The maximum number of suspected false identities involved in one case was again 66.

In 2002–03 there were 21 investigations involving multiple identity tax credit fraud. The maximum number of suspected false identities involved was 200.

All new tax credit applications are screened automatically before payment is made to pick up cases of suspected identity fraud.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many of his staff have been (a) disciplined, (b) suspended, (c) dismissed, (d) prosecuted and (e) convicted for matters relating to tax credit fraud in each year since tax credits were introduced; and what amount of tax credit was defrauded in each case. [112343]

The figures for the Inland Revenue for each year are:

1999–2000: None
2000–01: One prosecution leading to a conviction and involving £675. A second case is still proceeding, the amount suspected to be involved is less than £500.
2001–02: One case which is still proceeding, the amount suspected to be involved is approximately £6,000.
2002–03: Two cases which are still proceeding, the amounts suspected to be involved are approximately £10,000 in each case.
It is Inland Revenue policy to suspend staff pending prosecution and dismiss anyone found guilty.There have been no cases in which Treasury or Customs and Excise have taken disciplinary action against staff in respect of tax credit fraud.