Furlough fraud

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NAO: HMRC’s ‘missed opportunity’ on furlough fraud The National Audit Office (NAO) has warned that HMRC may miss an opportunity to clamp down on furlough fraud as the scheme is set to conclude before the tax office can reassess criminal activity. The NAO told MPs on the Treasury Select Committee that extensions to the scheme had given criminals more opportunities to adapt their methods. The spending watchdog has urged HMRC to update estimates on wage support scheme fraud more regularly, saying the taxman “can learn and adapt the design but also respond promptly" from new estimates. HMRC last year said that the fraud and error hit on the Job Retention Scheme could range between 5% and 10%, noting that it does not plan to update its assessment until the end of 2021. Joshua Reddaway of the NAO told MPs that with HMRC not going to be producing and update until the end of the year, “there's almost a missed opportunity”.

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