HMRC targets property firms in new Covid fraud crackdown

New figures reveal a 36% jump in raids by HMRC hunting cash lost in Covid support schemes including within property industry.

hmrc property

HMRC has ramped up its efforts to recover cash lost in fraud from Covid financial support schemes including the property industry.

Agent firms are reportedly one area targeted by the agency as it clamps down on furlough payment fraud.

Now, figures show that HMRC’s fraud investigators carried out 623 unannounced searches of business premises in the 12 months to the end of March. This number was a 36% jump from the previous year.

HMRC said previously it would have over 2,500 staff working on collecting the missing funds.


The crackdown was revealed in stats collected by accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young in a freedom of information request and reported by The Times.

“There couldn’t be a clearer sign that HMRC is getting tougher on tax evaders and Covid cheats”

Phil Kinzett-Evans, Partner, UHY Hacker Young

Phil Kinzett-Evans, a partner at UHY Hacker Young, says: “There couldn’t be a clearer sign that HMRC is getting tougher on tax evaders and Covid cheats than this sharp jump in property raids.”

Landlords targeted

UHY Hacker Young says HMRC target businesses such as residential landlords, builders and other tradespeople, who fail to declare income.

An HMRC spokesman said searches of business premises were one of a “range of powers” that it used to tackle “serious tax fraud”.

“The number of searches carried out in a year will vary and we only use them when it is necessary, justified and proportionate to do so,” he told The Times.

HMRC targeting property industry over furlough fraud

What's your opinion?

Back to top button