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800 furlough fraud reports yet Gov hotline for reporting fraud currently not operating !?


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The government hotline for reporting fraud is currently not operating, because the vast majority of HMRC staff are working from home and it is not possible to divert such calls to their mobile phones.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/may/13/nearly-800-reports-of-people-defrauding-uk-furlough-scheme

I fear for the economy of this country 

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3 hours ago, Saving For a Space Ship said:

Fraud in this scheme was always going to be a big issue.  especially in the scrappier businesses out there (If they even bothered with PAYE in the first place). In some cases I can understand bending the rules a bit because of the inflexible nature of the scheme. (store managers checking a shop is secure once a week for example).

I'm surprised HMRC don't have the ability to route the calls properly, technologically It isn't that hard but I'm skeptical about this "snitch hotlines". There is one for benefit fraud where about 80%~ of the complaints are false and usually malicious calls made by ex's/warring neighbors. 

 

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7 hours ago, Council estate capitalist said:

Fraud in this scheme was always going to be a big issue.  especially in the scrappier businesses out there (If they even bothered with PAYE in the first place). In some cases I can understand bending the rules a bit because of the inflexible nature of the scheme. (store managers checking a shop is secure once a week for example).

I'm surprised HMRC don't have the ability to route the calls properly, technologically It isn't that hard but I'm skeptical about this "snitch hotlines". There is one for benefit fraud where about 80%~ of the complaints are false and usually malicious calls made by ex's/warring neighbors. 

 

Agree with the snitch bit - fairly inefficient now they have big data 

They probably view as a loan to the fraudulent companies - hard to investigate until everyone is working more normally 

Then the big data box will be put to work and 5% of companies will be sampled and industries and companies will emerge that are prone to being a little loose with their use of the scheme - they then will be ‘invited’ to pay back ( turnover through VAT returns would be a good start if turnover is at 80% but 60% of your payroll furloughed ...)

The data set is small relatively not many unknowns all done through your Employer tax code and bounded - March to September 

Might hang a peasant or 2 during the period if public opinion demands but has the potential to backfire into a Sheriff of Nottingham look 

 

Edited by GregBowman
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23 minutes ago, Patfig said:

800 is that all

Reading the article it's all employees who've been asked to work while furloughed and have made a complaint. Even then some of it seems to be employee/employer disputes about what constitutes training, which is still allowed under furlough.

These 800 are either employers who thought they could bully their employees of employers who are spectacularly stupid and thought their employees wouldn't understand  how a national scheme in the papers every single day worked. 

Plenty of scope for other frauds with the scheme that would slip through if this was the only approach they were investigating 

Edited by regprentice
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1 hour ago, GregBowman said:

turnover through VAT returns would be a good start if turnover is at 80% but 60% of your payroll furloughed

You yourself have said that some businesses will find out that they can manage quite well without the dead weight.

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  • 3 months later...

Unprecedented Stimulus Is Fueling an Explosion of Fraud, Governments Begin to Admit

https://wolfstreet.com/2020/09/10/unprecedented-stimulus-is-fueling-an-explosion-of-fraud-governments-begin-to-admit/

I suspect the furlough & bounce back loan schemes are the biggest frauds  of all time on the Uk tax payer

 

Quote

The British government acknowledged on Tuesday that it may end up paying out as much as £3.5 billion of taxpayer funds in fraudulent or wrong claims for its job retention scheme, which covers up to 80% of an employee’s salary while they are on furlough. That’s the equivalent of 10% of all the money disbursed by the furlough program by mid-August.

“We have made an assumption for the purposes of our planning that the error and fraud rate in this scheme could be between 5% and 10%,” Jim Harra, the top civil servant at HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), told members of parliaments on the Public Accounts Committee, adding that an academic study had estimated that the level of fraud and error could be even higher than 10%.

The jobs retention program is not the only British stimulus program that’s proven to be susceptible to fraud. The Bounce Back Loan program, which was launched to help small businesses survive the lockdown and its lingering aftermath, has been exploited by a minority of applicants to buy luxury cars, property or even premium bonds.

One of the reasons this is happening is that the loans are self-certified, so that they can be granted within 24 hours. They are also fully guaranteed by the State, meaning that banks are not liable for any unpaid debts and are therefore quite happy to release the funds with little in the way of background checks. Much of the debt — 40%-50% according to the Financial Times — will never be repaid, since many of the businesses will collapse...

 

Edited by Saving For a Space Ship
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On 5/14/2020 at 8:05 AM, GregBowman said:

Agree with the snitch bit - fairly inefficient now they have big data 

They probably view as a loan to the fraudulent companies - hard to investigate until everyone is working more normally 

Then the big data box will be put to work and 5% of companies will be sampled and industries and companies will emerge that are prone to being a little loose with their use of the scheme - they then will be ‘invited’ to pay back ( turnover through VAT returns would be a good start if turnover is at 80% but 60% of your payroll furloughed ...)

The data set is small relatively not many unknowns all done through your Employer tax code and bounded - March to September 

Might hang a peasant or 2 during the period if public opinion demands but has the potential to backfire into a Sheriff of Nottingham look 

 

Not sure how furlough is linked to the VAT returns really - depends if the service is vatable, when the contracts were invoiced (if over more than 1 QR) and what the furloughed employees did in relation to said turnover.

At least the furlough scheme required staff to exist on the payroll before CV19. So there is a limitation of fraud to "real companies" with "real people" - in Feb this year there was no reason to run a fictional PAYE payroll. 

 

Compare that with the Bounce back loan self declaration nonsense with no checks... shell company? have £50k of taxpayers cash... well £50k... depends if you apply to 10 banks! have £500k! we may come after you later, if we can be bothered or you are still in the country or if we can find you through the corporate veil (Rant over i wont bore you lot again)

Edited by captainb
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  • 417 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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