In recent months, HMRC has been investigating fraudulent Research and Development (R&D) tax relief claims.
In November 2020, HMRC arrested three men involved in a fraudulent tax relief claim for £29.5 million. Through one of the individual’s companies, the three men tried to acquire tax relief on £137 million, for the purposes of developing a fake IT healthcare system in two Middle Eastern countries.
A falsified bank statement was submitted to HMRC in 2016 which raised red flags and subsequently prompted an investigation. The individuals were prosecuted for Research and Development tax relief fraud and have received jail sentences totaling 21 years.
HMRC are currently investigating a business located in Suffolk as part of a national tax fraud investigation. The business is suspected of a multi-million pound Research and Development fraudulent tax relief claim. Six arrests have been made and suspects have been interviewed by HMRC before being released under investigation.
The fraud investigation service’s Assistant Director said “HMRC reviews tens of thousands of claims for R&D tax relief each year with a significant increase in the scope, value and take-up of these reliefs in recent years. We are committed to tackling error and suspected fraud in Research and Development tax reliefs.”