HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has today opened discussions with the commercial sector about how it could help to reduce tax credits error and fraud. This follows a short trial earlier this year with a private sector supplier.
Key outcomes of the trial included 16,000 cases being reviewed, with 5,500 identified as containing error and fraud, and £20 million of potential losses identified. The trial demonstrated the potential for significant benefits through the use of private supplier technology, for example through sophisticated data analytics.
Ministers have now asked HMRC to explore the types of service the commercial sector can offer on a larger scale, and to engage with potential suppliers to gain an informed understanding of indicative costs, benefits and timelines ahead of an invitation to tender. This includes a focus on potential funding models that could deliver real savings to the public purse, for example using a “payments by and from results” model.
The overall aim is to add capacity to HMRC’s existing workforce in order to significantly increase the number of successful tax credits compliance interventions, and to drive down error and fraud which, although at its lowest level yet, cost the taxpayer £2.09 billion in incorrect payments in 2011-12.
HMRC already works successfully with the private sector, for example to collect debt and to identify high-risk tax credits claims. The department believes a similar arrangement can deliver a significant reduction in levels of tax credits error and fraud.
Any supplier will be required to operate under strict adherence to HMRC’s legislative framework and must meet stringent security standards.
Now, think about this do you really feel it is right that a private data mining company should have access to taxpayer records… national insurance numbers, level of household income, bank and building society details? How much is this costing the Treasury? You won’t get an answer even if you make a freedom of information request, because you will be told that it is commercially sensitive… bollo**s this is just the start. Peice by peice, little by little, HMRC is being privatised. And the benefit for the tax payer? None. The only people who will benefit will be the Directors of the private companies.
Taxes WILL increase in order to pay for it all!