8 Dec 2011

How much tax credit fraud is there?

What's happening with tax credit fraud? Back in 2007-08, HMRC seemed to be suggesting that tax credit fraud might be running at £150m+. For 2008-09 I suggested £250m was a conservative estimate of tax credit fraud.

Conservative, yes. Fujitsu has produced some mind boggling numbers.
HMRC has saved £400million in the past six months due to fraud detection software which targets fake tax credit claims, it has been revealed today.

IT service provider Fujitsu, working closely with the taxman, has been processing new applications for tax credits since the start of the year and has sounded out thousands of fraudulent claims, using clever data analytics software it has developed.
So confident were they in the software that they were offering a 'no-win, no-fee' contract with HMRC.

But what's this? Not two weeks later The Guardian tells us that
HMRC and the DWP have signed a deal with credit reference agency Experian to use its data to detect fraud and error in the tax credits and benefits systems.

They said that a recent pilot protected more than £16m of potential losses in tax credits, and that the move could save about £700m for HMRC over the life of the contract and £100m for DWP. A spokesman for HMRC said the duration and value of the contract are confidential.
Maybe, but elsewhere we learn that the contract is for 12 months.

Back to The Guardian, which suggests Experian is employing the revolutionary procedure of data matching.
HMRC has released a number of case studies illustrating where savings have been made in the pilot. One involved a woman claiming as a single parent with four children, where a search of Experian's information on financial applications showed that she had a partner living at the same address. This led to her awards being stopped.

Others showed up fraudulent claims through reference to data from sources as diverse as the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, the Passport Office, credit card companies and mobile phone contracts.
We aren't told whether they will concentrate on new applications, or whether Experian will be digging right through tax credit claims which have already been processed.

However, if Experian's expected to identify £700m of fraud over 12 months, the total level of fraud must surely be at least £1bn.

It's probably more.

1 comment:

Ladislav Balog said...

Organised crime nets 5mil

Criminals from eastern Europe set up a fake Tyneside firm and flew in bogus workers to run a massive benefit fraud. The Czech and Slovak nationals behind the scam worth almost £5000000 had plotted how they could milk the UK system.....I can prove where the money end
and how the system works in slovakia until now receiving benefits contact me asap it's time to show Europe the truth I am from slovakia 70% of the city michalovce receives support from the uk in slovakia I can prove