(2) how many cases of fraudulent claims for child benefit have been investigated in the last five years; and in how many such cases the fraud investigated involved the (a) non-existence and (b) non-qualifying residential status of the child.
[holding answer 15 October 2009]: For information relating to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) compliance checks on tax credits awards I refer my hon. Friend to the information published in the 2007-08 and 2008-09 Comptroller and Auditor General's Standard Reports.
Information for years up to and including 2007-08 can be found in table 6 on page R15 of the 2007-08 report published at:
Similar information for 2008-09 is included in table 33 on page R41 of the Standard Report published at:
HMRC has made and closed around 62,000 child benefit interventions in the five years to April 2009 but that figure cannot be broken down to reflect the specific categories of fraud requested, as HMRC's systems do not capture information in this way.
Providing further information on this point might assist those attempting to defraud the system.