The Treasury revealed that HMRC staff working on criminal investigations received bonuses totaling £1.4m:
HMRC staffs in the criminal investigations department are rewarded through two bonus schemes. One is a recognition bonus for ‘exceptional in-year performance’ whilst the other is a performance award for employees annual work.
A spokesman for HMRC said:
“Our pay system rewards those who do most to improve the quality of the services we deliver to the public. It is about encouraging those staff to deliver an exemplary performance across the whole year.
“That performance is looked at against a range of measures, and is not driven by money collected. Bonuses are not related to tax yield. They are related to performance.”
There are thought to be 2000 staff working in the Revenue’s criminal investigation team.
Kevin Kinsella Jnr, of KinsellaTax, said:
“I have raised this time and time again, no wonder tax investigations go on and on. No inspector, if he is getting a bonus, will close down cases where there is little or no returns; hence no bonus.
“We are finding that we have to apply to the Tax Tribunal to close a case down. The tax tribunal judges really do agree with us when we apply, given that HMRC is not prejudiced if they are ordered to close a case, say in 5 months, as any issue can be decided by the Tax Tribunal, who take a view that tax must be supported by fails; which in a lot of cases are not by HMRC.
“We had a case where HMRC maintained that a self confessed issuer of false documents was the main witness against a client who maintained that it was false evidence against him. HMRC later accepted that the so called ‘witness’ was tainted and withdrew the claim. However, one could understand if the inspector was motivated by the ‘bonus’ and was reluctant to withdraw the claim.”
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