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Welfare Tax Credits: Fraud

Volume 476: debated on Tuesday 20 May 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) in how many cases HM Revenue and Customs and its predecessor (a) imposed a penalty under section 31 of the Tax Credits Act 2003 for making an incorrect statement or declaration or supplying incorrect information or evidence and (b) imposed a penalty under section 32(3) of the Tax Credits Act 2002 for failing to notify a specified change of circumstances in each year since 2003; (194502)

(2) in how many cases HM Revenue and Customs and its predecessor applied to the Appeals Service under section 32(1) and (2) of, and Schedule 2 to, the Tax Credits Act 2002 for a summons against an individual on evidence of failing to comply with a requirement regarding a final notice in each year since April 2003.

A breakdown between penalties imposed under section 31 and section 32(3) is not available.

The following table shows the total number of penalties imposed under sections 31 and 32(3) of the Tax Credits Act 2002. No penalties were charged in 2003-04.

Number of cases

2004-05

1,114

2005-06

2,241

2006-07

1,365

2007-08 to 29 February 2008

955

HMRC made 12 applications in 2005-06 for a summons against an individual under section 32(1) and (2) of, and schedule 2 to, the Tax Credits Act 2002.16 applications were made in 2006-07 and five in 2007-08. No such applications were made in 2003-04 or 2004-05.