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HMRC arrest three during investigation into suspected £300m corporation tax scam

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HMRC arrest three during investigation into suspected £300m corporation tax scam

Three men have been arrested in connection with an investigation, by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), into a suspected attempt to fraudulently claim £300 million in Research and Development (R&D) tax credits.

More than 30 officers from HMRC searched three residential and one business address during morning raids in the West Midlands yesterday.

R&D tax relief is an incentive for certain businesses to undertake research and development, helping to support innovative companies in the UK. The suspected fraud, had it been successful, would have been worth an estimated £300 million over five years.

Computers and business records were seized during the operation.

Martin Brown, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said:

“While an attack on the tax system is often thought victimless, it isn’t. It means that the public lose out on vital funds for essential services. Any abuse of the R&D tax relief scheme is defrauding a system put in place to help legitimate businesses grow and develop. We will continue our work to tackle any fraud or attempted fraud, to ensure taxes are directed to where they should be and not into the pockets of criminals. No one is beyond our reach.

“If anyone has information about tax fraud, please contact the HMRC 24 hour Hotline on 0800 59 5000.”

The men, one aged 40 from Leamington Spa, one aged 44 from Birmingham and another aged 49 from Coventry, were interviewed by HMRC and have been released on bail. Investigations are continuing.

Notes for editors:

  1. For more information on Research and Development Tax relief: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/corporation-tax-research-and-development-rd-relief
  2. Anyone with information regarding fraud is encouraged to contact the 24 hour hotline on 0800 59 5000 or report it online via: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/reportingfraud/online.htm.
  3. Follow HMRC Press Office on Twitter @HMRCpressoffice

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Issued by HM Revenue & Customs Press Office

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the UK’s tax authority.

HMRC is responsible for making sure that the money is available to fund the UK’s public services and for helping families and individuals with targeted financial support.

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HMRC Regional Press Officer - Wales

HMRC Press Officer Wales Wales 03000 550 493

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