HMRC data shows that more than £5.5bn of taxpayer money from the Government’s coronavirus support schemes was acquired fraudulently or given out incorrectly, including £5.2bn under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
 
HMRC’s annual report reveals that about 8.7% of the £60bn it paid out under the furlough scheme in the 2020/21 tax year was awarded erroneously or ended up in the hands of organised crime gangs and fraudsters.
 
A further £490m was lost to fraudulent or incorrect claims under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, while the “eat out to help out” scheme accounted for £70m.
 
An HMRC spokesperson said, 'the Taxpayer Protection Taskforce is expected to recover £1bn from fraudulent or incorrect payments over the next two years, adding that work is already under way, with 23,000 ongoing investigations'.
 
HMRC says, 'it has so far stopped or recovered £840m of over-claimed grants in 2020/21'.
 
sourced from The Guardian