Business hit by dawn raids over ‘£300m corporation tax scam’

More than 30 HMRC officers swooped on a business and three residential addresses on Wednesday morning as part of an investigation into what the Revenue say could be a massive tax scam.

The officers raided the addresses in the West Midlands, seizing computers, and arresting three men.

Alleged tax relief scam

The action comes as HMRC investigates an alleged scam that, if successful, it believes could have been worth £300 million, following false claims for research and development tax relief.

This scheme, when used legitimately, is designed to encourage businesses to conduct R&D by allowing them to offset some of the cost against the corporation tax bill.

But HMRC believes that the Midlands business had been attempting to make fraudulent claims under the regime.

HMRC’s Martin Brown said: “While an attack on the tax system is often thought victimless, it isn’t. It means that the public lose out on vital funds for essential services. Any abuse of the R&D tax relief scheme is defrauding a system put in place to help legitimate businesses grow and develop. We will continue our work to tackle any fraud or attempted fraud, to ensure taxes are directed to where they should be and not into the pockets of criminals.”

The three men were interviewed by HMRC before being released on bail.

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