Taxman gets 300 Tax Evasion Hotline Tip-offs a day

HMRC’s Tax Evasion Hotline received 72,000 tip-offs over the last year; according to a report today by Bloomsbury Professional.  The Hotline, or snitch-line as some tax inspectors call it, allows members of the public to inform the tax authority when they suspect someone of fiddling their tax.

Despite receiving about 300 calls per day the Stalinist-style Hotline produces more noise than heat.  The National Audit Office described it as the least cost-effective method of detecting tax fiddles. It only just produces twice the amount of money it costs to operate.  In 2006/7, the Hotline’s yield (of tax, interest and penalties) was just £2.6 million: compared to the original estimate of £32.5 million.
On the other hand, the nuisance value to businesses unjustly investigated following a rogue tip-off can be immense.

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