It has been reported that the number of calls to the HMRC tax evasion hotline have doubled in 2017/18 compared to the previous year. Calls to the hotline are getting close to their all-time peak with the increase from 20,200 calls to 40,695 calls, as first reported by The Daily Telegraph after making a freedom of information request. The total number of reports received by investigators each year exceeds 100,000 and sifting through these to find the genuine cases is becoming increasingly challenging.
Despite the increase in call volume, the value of the pay-outs to tax fraud and evasion whistleblowers saw of drop of 23% to £343,500 in 2017/18. A HMRC spokesman said the amount paid out is relative to the amount of tax recovered and the quality of the information provided.
HMRC say that the information received through the hotline is not always used on a standalone basis, and that information provided is sometimes added to existing ongoing cases. In these instances, it is difficult to attribute any taxes collected to the information provided over the hotline, as it is just one of any number of sources of information, which now also includes social media.
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