3rd March 2021
COVID-19 support fraud and tax avoidance
The Government will invest heavily in a Taxpayer Protection Taskforce of 1,265 HMRC staff to combat fraud within COVID-19 support packages, inclusive of Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. To defer fraud, they are to raise awareness on enforcement action together with strengthening the law enforcement for Bounce Back Loans.
New powers will be introduced to make the possession, manufacture, distribution and promotion of Electronic Sales Suppression (ESS) software and hardware an offence.
Additional investment is to be made during the 2021-22 tax year to increase HMRC resources and investment in IT, the resources will include the recruitment of additional HMRC staff to target non-compliance. As part of their ongoing program, compliance work will continue on the loan charge, historic disguised remuneration cases and early interaction with individuals to encourage their exit from tax avoidance schemes.