Q&As

Can I negotiate an administrative penalty for a client being investigated for tax credit fraud?

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Published on LexisPSL on 22/11/2013

The following Corporate Crime Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Can I negotiate an administrative penalty for a client being investigated for tax credit fraud?

Can I negotiate an administrative penalty for a client being investigated for tax credit fraud?

Administrative penalties are available under sections 115A or 115B Social Security Administration Act 1992 (SSAA 1992). The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) applies its own enforcement policy when making the decision whether to pursue a civil or criminal route. The Sanction Policy: In respect of fraudulent Social Security Benefit claims can be viewed atwww.dwp.gov.uk. The DWP's enforcement policy for tax credit offences broadly follows the DWP's enforcement (penalty) policy. However, it departs from the policy in one significant respect in that there is no discretion to impose an administrative penalty under SSAA 1992, ss 115A or 115B for tax credit offences.

Please see the Practice Note: Tax Credit offences.

However if a case is not referred to the Crown Prosecution Service, the DWP have discretion to refer a tax credit case to HM Revenue & Customs for HMRCs own civil penalty policy to be applied.

The policy can be found herewww.hmrc.gov.uk

It is HMRC's policy to deal with fraud by use of the cost effective Civil Investigation of Fraud (CIF) procedures, wherever appropriate. Criminal Investigation will be reserved for cases where HMRC needs to send a strong deterrent message or where the conduct involved is such that only a criminal sanction is appropriate. See also Practice Note: Civil tax fraud investigations—Code

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