HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) assistant director for criminal investigation John Whiting has warned that all tax credit claims are carefully monitored and anyone abusing them will be punished.
A mother-of-three, who falsely claimed she was working as a nurse to gain improved tax credits, was sentenced yesterday (5 July). Siobhan Robb, a 40-year-old from County Antrim, continued to claim tax credits even though she had been sacked from her role as an auxiliary nurse.
Over an eight-year-period she made regular calls to HMRC's tax credits helpline to update her working hours and income, despite the information being false. She also claimed childcare costs for her younger children, telling the HMRC that they were looked after by a child minder while she worked.
While initially denying any wrongdoing, Ms Robb eventually admitted she had made up all of the information and pleaded guilty to the charges at a hearing last month.
Mr Whiting said: "Tax credits are designed to support those hard working families who most need extra financial support. HMRC undertakes regular checks to ensure that tax credits claims are legitimate, and takes action against those claimants who lie. This prosecution will serve as an example to those tempted to give false information to HMRC."